Data offers your business enormous potential benefits. At the same time it can also cause headaches: you can find yourself dealing with duplicate records, isolated data silos, discrepancies between customer records in different systems, and countless other issues too. To avoid problems like this, you need to let data flow freely throughout your organization. A Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution allows verified data on your business relations from an external database to flow into your systems and circulate between them.
Is key data on your business relations stored in more than one place? Do you have several different ways of entering data on new businesses or contact persons? Are you unaware of who your top customers are or how you are performing in certain regions? Is your data sometimes unreliable? Do different departments produce contradictory reports?
If you’ve answered a number of these questions with “yes”, then there’s a big chance that you’ve got problems with your master data. You could regard master data as a common language for your company, understood by all its systems, applications and departments. And the key to tackling these issues is to improve your master data.
Data mobility: a vital ingredient for success
Master data means your most crucial business data, collected from different systems and processes, and brought together in a single, structured information source. Thanks to master data, you can let your systems communicate with one another, create order from chaos and build bridges between different departments and their information sources.
“To have real value, master data needs to flow throughout your organization and its systems, processes and trading partners,” says data philosopher Scott Taylor. The faster your data moves, the better able you will be to respond, predict and anticipate. In actual fact, your business’s very success or failure depends on data mobility.”
Benefit from data that’s clean, enriched and up-to-date 24/7
The million dollar question is: how do you ensure that your master data flows? Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a simple and effective way of putting data on your business relations in motion. First, it ensures that data on your customers, suppliers and prospects flows unimpeded throughout your company. Second, it lets you stream verified real-time data and insights from the Dun & Bradstreet database into your systems and applications.
How does it work? The key to DaaS is the D-U-N-S number. This is a unique 9-digit identifier for every individual business entity,
which connects all the company records in different databases. As a result, the master records on your business relations will be consistent. What’s more, by linking your databases to Dun & Bradstreet, you’ll ensure that the data on these business relations is automatically cleansed and enriched 24/7. Incomplete company profiles will be supplemented and extra data elements can be added, for example demographics, contact details, industry codes and corporate structures.
The benefits of connected data
When data on your business relations is able to flow freely between your systems and the D&B database, you’ll gain the following benefits:
- Fuller, more comprehensive company profiles.
- Uniform, reliable data on your business relations throughout your company.
- Data won’t get stuck in departmental data silos.
- Improved interdepartmental cooperation.
- Superior business intelligence and more accurate reports.
And, as we explain in our white paper: “External business data: an undiscovered treasure trove”, this generates a broad range of more specific benefits too. For instance in terms of marketing, sales, compliance, credit management and supply change management.
Connected data: the benefits for sales and marketing
Sales and marketing have the most to gain from full, accurate and up-to-date information on customers and prospects – and from linking your company’s own data sets to others.
Whether it’s information on companies, contact persons, products or markets, the staff in your marketing and sales department constantly work with huge volumes of data. Mistakes are easily made. For instance, company information written down in a notebook may not get transferred into the CRM. Existing customers may be contacted in the same way as unknown prospects, or two salespeople might be in contact with different departments of the same company at the same time without realizing it, simply because the company name was mistyped.
By linking the CRM to the Dun & Bradstreet database – and therefore also to other business systems – data on customers and prospects can be automatically connected, cleansed and enriched. You’ll benefit from fuller, more comprehensive company profiles and contact decision makers with relevant messages at exactly the right time. By sharing information, your marketing and sales departments will also cooperate more effectively.
A real boost to your business
It’s often said that sales and marketing benefit most when you optimize the mobility of your data on business relations. But in fact, every department has something to gain from data mobility. If you ensure that the data on your customers, suppliers and prospects can flow freely between different departments and silos, you’ll be giving your whole business a real boost.