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The everchanging and unspoken tale of Data Quality

Updated: Mar 6, 2023


When running a successful business team or project, one of the most important things you must ensure is that your data is reliable and accurate. It really is the very foundation of your business.


Data quality plays an integral role in determining how efficient operations will be, from calculating marketing ROI to establishing customer insights.


This has been a recurring theme in all of my roles, complaints about data and one team would say it's accurate, and one team say it's useless. So who was right?


Both usually, the data might have technically matched the data quality needs, but the usability of the data meant its wrong.


This very problem was why I started Rudy Consulting. I started my blog to help educate, share and guide people through the key areas of Revenue Operations. One of the most fundamental parts is understanding that data quality is critical for all successful Go-to-Market teams and Revenue Operations (RevOps) Professionals to succeed.


So back on track, what exactly is data quality?


This blog post aims to answer that and explore why data accuracy matters in Revenue Operations for SaaS companies. We'll cover practical advice on how to optimize your existing Go-To-Market processes as well as strategies for increasing accuracy when collecting customer information and tracking KPIs. By understanding the importance of sound data quality principles, leaders can make more informed and data-led decisions that drive success throughout their entire organisation.


What is Data Quality, and why does it matter for Go-To-Market teams and RevOps Professionals


Data management is the foundation of all Revenue Operations strategies, as any analytics derived from it will be meaningless if the data itself is inaccurate and inconsistent. Poorly managed data can harm an entire organisation because it relies on clean and reliable datasets. As such, business operations must ensure their data is accurate, complete, up-to-date and documented to maintain the highest quality data standards feasible.


Let's be clear this is not the fun part, it's satisfying, yes, fun… less so.


It's also an exercise that will be never-ending, so be prepared to strive for continuous improvement.


Some of the biggest indicators of bad data quality are::


1. Incorrect or missing data

2. Data type mismatch (e.g., a field that should contain text is storing numbers)

3. Duplicate records or entries

4. Unstandardised formats for similar data fields

5. Outdated or irrelevant data values

6. Poorly documented datasets

7. Inaccurate calculations in databases

8. Unwanted characters, symbols, and special characters appearing in data sets

9. Interoperability errors between systems using different database structures and protocols

10. Lack of visibility into customer information


All of these things you will hear about.


These will be present in every CRM in the world.


Until someone has found a way to perfect account hierarchies and relationships and has removed humans entirely from the equation, at least. (Roll on Chat-GPT-based sales teams!!)


What Data matters for Revenue Operations and Why?


So now you understand what to look for in your data - where do you start?


Well, considering Rev Ops is at the heart of successful GTM motion these days, looking at your GTM data is the best place to start! Data Quality, Data Led Decisions, Measurement & Insights are fundamental to successfully understanding and optimising the performance of Marketing, Customer Success and Sales teams.


Leaders in Revenue Operations must ensure they have the data measuring all aspects, from tracking customer behaviour, adjusting product prices and optimising channels for maximum impact.


Some examples of these key KPIs are:


1. CAC:LTV (Customer Acquisition Cost: Lifetime Value): This metric measures the efficiency of the customer acquisition process by comparing the amount spent on acquiring customers with the revenue generated from them over a specified period. CAC:LTV should be monitored over time to ensure that any changes in pricing or marketing strategies are delivering the desired return on investment.


2. ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue): ARR is one of the most critical KPIs for Revenue Operations. It measures the total value of all contracts or subscriptions that have been signed and will generate recurring revenue annually. Keeping track of this KPI allows teams to understand performance and plan for future growth.


3. Payback period: The payback period is another important KPI that monitors how quickly money invested in marketing, sales and other activities is returned to the business. Knowing this information can help inform future investments to maximize ROI and reach long-term sustainability goals.


4. Customers Onboarded: This metric tracks how many customers are successfully onboarded each month, allowing Revenue Operations teams to monitor their progress towards achieving monthly targets and make adjustments accordingly if needed.


5. Churn: Churn rate measures how often customers leave your services or products, providing valuable insights into customer satisfaction levels and allowing teams to identify areas where improvements can be made to reduce churn rate over time.


6. Average Deal Size: By tracking this KPI, Revenue Operations teams can easily see whether their efforts in upselling existing customers or increasing product prices are affecting deal size as expected.


7. Customer Retention Rate: Measuring the rate customers stick around is a crucial metric for revenue operations teams. It provides insights into customer satisfaction levels and highlights areas that need improvement.


This KPI can be calculated by dividing the number of customers who have stayed with a company over a given period by the total number of customers at the start. By observing fluctuations in this metric, teams can determine whether changes to pricing, marketing strategies or product features have impacted customer retention. Additionally, tracking the retention rate of new versus existing customers can help identify any issues with onboarding processes that may drive away potential customers before they even get started.


8. Conversion Rates: Conversion rates provide an insight into how effective your marketing campaigns are at driving leads through your sales funnel, helping teams understand where there may be areas which need improvement or optimization to increase lead-to-customer conversion rates over time


Good quality data will give an organisation insights into customer trends, marketing effectiveness and resource allocation, which are necessary for today's success in sales and customer management.


As such, Rev Ops Professionals need to determine what data matters most for their organisation and why to effectively reach both short-term goals and long-term success.

 

Understanding the Different Types of Data Quality


Data quality can mean the difference between success and failure. I hope I am here to guide you, whether you are looking to enter the rev ops landscape or an expert of 100 years, to not make the many mistakes I have made.


Data types are an essential component of Data Quality. These are varied and must be identified as part of assessing Data Quality. Data Population, which seeks to identify missing values, and Data Accuracy about LTV:CAC (Lifetime Value: Cost of Acquiring a Customer) analysis help guide this assessment.


 

How to Identify Poor Data Quality and its Impact on Performance


Data quality is essential to Revenue Operations, and its importance should not be underestimated.


Poor data quality can lead to inaccurate customer insights, incorrect marketing decisions and wrong resource allocation, resulting in missed opportunities or severe financial losses. Organisations must identify any issues with their data, such as missing values or inaccuracies in lifetime value to cost of acquisition (LTV:CAC) analysis, so that they can be effectively addressed and data quality can be improved.


High-quality data will enable teams to make more informed decisions and foster long-term success. Poor data quality can have a significant impact on your organisation's short- and long-term success. If you're responsible for revenue operations or any data, it's essential to understand how to identify poor quality to make informed decisions.


Data type mismatch is one of the most common indicators that something isn't quite right; if there are high rates of discrepancy between your Country or State inputs, for example, or you are seeing dates not populating when they should, a complete reconciliation may be necessary.


If something happens once - no worries, twice could be bad luck but any more than that, and you likely have a problem. Be sure to take a step back and look at what's going on by focusing on the basics, paying attention to all of your dashboards, paying close attention to what your teams say daily, and tracking process understanding - this is where many issues come in. A holistic view often reveals poor data quality before it becomes a serious problem.


 

Strategies to Improve Data Quality and Streamline Processes


Automation can give organisations an excellent starting point for building their data ecosystem, while enrichment tools provide tools to go beyond that.


Additionally, companies should consider establishing Data Councils to provide clear key field definitions and overall data governance. This could be a voluntary group of data specialists from all over the business or a designated Tiger Team to fully own and manage all aspects of data. Pick what suits your needs best!


Be sure to assign tasks to regularly de-duplicate their data, especially CRM Data, from which data is often treated as the source of truth.


Another strategy organisations can use to improve data quality is adopting a data-first mindset. This means that all decisions should be based on data, and all strategic decisions should be supported by analytics, ensuring that information is accurate and up-to-date.


Be sure to have a unified view of their data and standardise their reporting processes so that different teams use the same terminology, metrics and KPIs. Additionally, you should institute regular audits of their data sources to ensure accuracy, completeness and consistency across departments.


These strategies are essential for achieving greater scalability and accuracy with your analytics operations. They will also ensure your team is constantly making decisions with the most up-to-date information available.


 

Automating Data Quality Checks for Increased Efficiency


Automating Data Quality Checks is a great way to increase revenue operations' efficiency.


Data tools can be integrated, and scheduled jobs or triggers can be set up to run data validation checks regularly, giving you reliable insights.


If you can, you should also implement automated monitoring tools to alert them when any discrepancies occur, or their data quality drops so that they can take swift corrective action. Invest time on this upfront - it will save time later!


Best Practices for Ensuring the Continual Improvement of Data Quality

It's critical to focus on best practices to ensure the continual improvement of Data Quality.



1. The first step is assembling a Data Council empowered to make key decisions regarding improving Data Quality.

2. Next, a consistent effort must be made across departments and teams to continue monitoring Data Quality.

3. Lastly, understanding your customer and sales journey will help identify how Data Quality can be improved to benefit their sales process - ultimately producing better results.


 

Data quality is an essential piece of the revenue operations puzzle and is critical for success. It starts with understanding what data matters most and testing it to ensure accuracy. Creating a strategy for providing sound data quality and implementing best practices is the key to moving forward in the world of RevOps and a successful go-to-market.


Automating data quality checks and refining processes are essential to providing meaningful ROI and helping teams save time while improving accuracy.


With these strategies in mind, new RevOps professionals can be confident they know what's necessary to succeed in their role and join the ranks of influential RevOps professionals who drive business outcomes and deliver value through effective data management and business improvement strategies.


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