With your sales teams on the phone, Zoom, or potentially out in the field working to bring a strong close to the year, it’s the perfect time to talk about how you can plan data maintenance – tending to your numbers as you would a garden to prevent bad data from skewing your growth.
One of the most tedious parts of tending a garden is making sure your plants aren’t choked out by weeds. As with many chores, weeding gives us the most visible results. If you don’t weed, you lose the view of gorgeous blossoms, or the taste of ripe tomatoes, and instead get a vista of tangled greenery suffocating the plants you’ve nurtured.
The same sentiment can be applied to your data. Data needs regular maintenance or it too can be choked out by incorrect information, and the erroneous data can change your reporting. In fact, it can cause you to misread the results of investments you’ve made with your time and resources. There are several sources of bad data, but it can be managed if you have the right interface to help you.
What is “Bad Data”?
Let’s say you’re collecting Sales to Retail data (STR/RAD) on an account, as an example, but your salesperson is tracking their activity with that Account on a duplicate that exists in your data. The two separate Accounts won’t reflect your data accurately because only half of your information is visible at a time. Your best case scenario is to have your results all in one place.
Or perhaps your data isn’t set up with rollups for all your distributor warehouses, so you have to manually sum for warehouses your depletions roll up to.
Data Maintenance Tips
Best Practices at a Glance:
Just as weeding needs to be done regularly, so exists the need for data maintenance. It’s good to have a strict routine where you or your team check data regularly for duplicate accounts, bad addresses, or erroneous depletions. Be sure to find the source of the bad data and pull it out by the roots, so it won’t reappear.
It’s a good habit to check your depletion data monthly on the date(s) you know it will be most complete. Verify that your shipments, depletions, and STR are all in line with your expectations by Date, by Brand, and if you are a supplier, by Distributor (if applicable).
In addition, run a monthly functional report that shows you Accounts and Contacts that have duplicate record sets. Find unwanted duplicates and report them to your data collection provider or Distributor for cleanup to ensure the bad data gets fixed. Yes, this is allowed! In the first few months this may be a bit tedious, but once you’re regularly monitoring it, the job will go faster and your bad data will move to accurate, aligned data.
As with keeping plants alive and healthy, get help from an expert if you’re in over your head or need help with knowing where to look. Avid gardeners are a great resource, but they can miss the small details that are important to your individual situation. Broad strokes applied to your data can be damaging, so be conscious of who you let take the reins. Thankfully, there are Data Analysts who can consult with you to get rid of bad data and keep your numbers neat, tidy and working for you.
If you haven’t yet invested in a solution to accurately view your sales data, GreatVines offers a robust Sales Execution Analytics tool, in which you can view daily sales data and create reports for your organization. Alongside our analytics, we have Data Analysts on our team who can get your data working efficiently for you – instead of you working tediously on your data. Accurate data drives the right decisions for your business, allowing you to reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in to make your team successful.
Don’t let that weedy data obscure your growth, tend to it regularly for the most optimal results!