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Identifying the Relationship Between CRM, ROI and Data Quality August 2005

CRM has many measures of success but a core component of CRM which few people are paying attention to is the integration of data. As a result of this lack of attention many IT projects fail because the integration of data and applications, and the quality of data. CRM projects consume vast amounts of money and without accurate, available data the ROI from the CRM initiatives will be low.

Impact of ‘Dirty Data’ on CRM ROI

An issue linked to data integration is data quality. If a company owns more than one data store, a problem of duplicated and incorrect data may arise. Incorrect data may result from clients and employees inputting the data incorrectly or spelling a name differently, which would in turn create two records for the same person. In order to extract any valuable data from these stores, these problems need to be discovered and solved.

A recent study commissioned by the SAS Institute identified how much impact ‘dirty data’ has on the profitability of a company is highlighted by the following:

· Retha Keyser, the Product Manager at SAS Institute SA, identified that: “Data quality is a major obstacle in achieving ROI from CRM initiatives. The foundation of successful CRM is the accuracy and timeliness of the underlying data.”

· Keyser also identified that: “Accurate data is vital to the bottom line of businesses, proving that data quality is the single largest obstacle to achieving ROI from CRM campaigns.”

· Keyser also suggested, “To begin to address this problem, companies need to identify the data corruption areas and quantify the issue in business terms before they can start the actual data cleansing process.”

For the detailed results of the independent survey commissioned by SAS in April 2003, please click here:


Actions That Could Be Taken:

There are various options available to “attempt” to clean data which include:

- Cleaning data yourself

- Employing the services of a data cleaning company (such as Intimate Data)

Limitations arise when you attempt to do it yourself as it is time consuming, complex and expensive. The benefits of employing a company are that it eliminates the risks of error, saves valuable employee’s time and ensures accuracy.

“Many organizations fail to address the most essential component of the CRM initiative: accurate, reliable customer information,” says Darryl Joubert, chairman of Intimate Data. The aim of CRM is to build customer loyalty through cost-effective and precise customer communications.

For more detailed information, please click here:


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