One of the last things anyone will ever want to do in a business setting is distribute inaccurate information—whether to a boss, coworker, partner, client, vendor, or customer. That written report, budget proposal, PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet, summary document, or any other similar vehicle used in order to deliver information in business always must be on point. As the source of business information, professionals cannot afford to be sloppy.
Why make your life difficult in business when you can make it easy?
The starting point for business information is data. And in this day and age, where new technologies are creating opportunities to cultivate vast amounts of data quickly and in real time, competition dictates that the data being accessed is always accurate, complete, consistent, up to date, and non-duplicative.
All companies handle data differently according to internal organizational protocols, but few actually ensure the information they are relying on is relevant. The path to relevance is called “data enrichment,” a term that speaks to the process for enhancing and improving unwieldy raw data that flow through any organization. And today, the amount of data, or the concept of “big data,” is limitless.
The goal for the data flowing through any company is that they have value, but in order to be relevant, the data also must be able to be used beneficially.
Data should be not only valuable, but also relevant, to the company. And as it is refined, or goes through the process of enrichment, the first goal always is to remove any errors, such as misspellings or typos. While this may seem minor, it’s a huge consideration because the smallest mistake can often be glaring. The last thing any business professional wants to do is deliver an error-filled document to the boss, who then is put in the position of further disseminating incorrect information. In data enrichment, for instance, algorithm tools can be employed in order to ferret out those vexing errors.
Moreover, data enrichment needs to be an ongoing process, because raw data being received within the organization are always evolving and changing. Keeping ahead of evolving data is vital, because data enrichment, in addition to spotting and correcting errors, can ensure that information is accurate.
The sales organization out scouting for new business cannot afford to rely on inaccurate and obsolete profiles of prospective customers, for instance, when seeking new business. The prospective customer may have had changes in executive officers or may have made a key acquisition, and that information needs to be known in advance of the call. Data enrichment also permits for segmenting sales information, such as by revenue, net income, number of employees, or business operations. Going into the sales call without accurate information could result in a potentially embarrassing situation, or, worse, a loss of business.
For such a simple process, ensuring data quality through enrichment provides innumerable benefits. Cleansing data for errors and inaccuracies is a given, but other benefits are apparent as well. Data enrichment tools also allow the organization to characterize correctly its most valued customers, anticipate behaviors and trends, and identify opportunities for growth. The more accurate information a company has about its business relationships, the better it is able to respond to business needs and make business decisions.
Data enrichment removes the gaps in raw data and renders the data usable by the organization. Data enrichment is a powerful strategic tool of business, and employed correctly, according to the unique needs of the company, it can put the organization far ahead of the competition.