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Three Drivers for an Effective Customer Reference Data Foundation – Part 1

In our recent survey of data leaders across North America and Europe, almost all agreed that their organization views customer reference data as a strategic global asset. Many also revealed challenges in achieving the right customer data foundation to support digital transformation and shared the urgent actions they are taking as a result.

This short series looks at the three key drivers and investment priorities for improving customer reference data across both regions: improving data quality, increasing speed of access, and achieving a single customer view.

Driver #1 – Improving Data Quality

Both regional surveys showed that companies consider accurate customer data essential for streamlining commercial operations, improving field force effectiveness, and gaining actionable business insights. But poor-quality data from legacy providers remains a global industry issue.
In North America:

  • Over 80% of reps struggle with inaccurate data and limited insights into the relationships between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organizations.
  • The majority acknowledges that poor-quality data negatively affects field rep compliance (78%) and productivity (83%).

In Europe:

  • 89% say that the quality of legacy customer data is a significant challenge for their business.
  • 90% share that their field teams are challenged by aging and incomplete data.
  • 41% are dissatisfied with the quality of data from their legacy third-party providers.

Low-quality legacy data is the root cause of many operational inefficiencies including reduced sales performance, missed opportunities, limited marketing effectiveness, and compliance risk.

The impact also extends beyond sales and marketing productivity. The survey – and our own experience with customers – indicates that unlocking access to trusted customer data accelerates the shift to more digital and innovative methods of HCP engagement. Quality data shifts the dialogue from data issues to greater focus on execution.

The race is on for trusted customer data

As more companies recognize the importance of an effective customer data foundation, a focus is underway to improve data quality:

  • 88% say ensuring more accurate customer data is their top priority.
  • In Europe, 78% are currently undertaking or planning a customer data enhancement initiative.
  • In North America, 46% plan to invest in new sources of customer reference data over the next year and 35% plan to outsource or invest in data stewardship services to improve the quality of their data.

Read Part 2 – The need for speed
Read Part 3 – Harmonizing data for a single customer view

To gain more insights into the state of customer reference data, download the full reports for North America and Europe.

Originally posted on LinkedIn