How can CRM help better manage your data?
Whether we like it or not, data is a huge part of how every business operates on a day to day basis with the end goal always to turn that data into valuable information to best inform the services we offer.
But data can be messy, like really really messy. Turning data into information can only happen if the data is well ordered, structured, cleansed and then presented. There’s a myriad of tools out there to help you do this and a CRM system is undoubtedly one of the best!
Let’s take a look at the ways a CRM system can really help to better manage your data and allow you to get the information you need!
With most modern CRM systems being application driven, they all sit on top of a complex database with the user interface there to only expose certain key information as instructed by your setup needs. By operating in this way, CRM systems usually comprise of a number of ‘fields’ which you can control and change to effectively capture data you need.
By sorting data into this set field configuration, it gives your data a really structured way of operating. For example, on a standard Contact record, you may capture first name, last name, email address, phone number and company name - having these set fields means you keep the data tidy and structured as the right data only goes into the right place - no confusion!
Having these fields set in a standard way makes it really easy to extract the information you need. In the example above, you would know exactly where to find a particular person’s contact details, as they’d sit in the email address or phone number fields of their record.
The big win - data that is correctly structured is easy to search through and use, helping get the information you need, faster!
As an extension to this, CRM systems give the ability to control your data in a way that works best for you and your business, using validation. Put simply, for each field you create, you can specify which ‘type’ of field it is - such as a text, number, picklist or checkbox field.
This allows you to go even further with your effective data management, meaning you can minimize error and effectively gather the right information, in the right format, as part of your workflows. No more accidental letters in a phone number or spelling mistakes meaning certain results are missed from a report. Validation solves these issues (and many more) keeping your data neat and tidy!
The big win - field validation means the inputs are always controlled, reducing mistakes and boosting effectiveness!
So, we have created our fields in the correct format to ensure our data can be correctly captured but what we haven’t accounted for yet is human error - the main reason data becomes unusable.
Most CRM systems will give you the ability to set different data entry points as mandatory, meaning the user receives a warning or in fact a full roadblock when trying to proceed without completing the task.
We all forget to do the little things sometimes, but these can make a huge difference in the bigger picture. Setting the right fields in your CRM as mandatory means no more forgetting and crucially, no more incomplete data sets!
The big win - reducing human error by setting mandatory fields means more complete data sets with no gaps!
If you’re sitting over a management function, you’re undoubtedly going to need to use your business data to drive business decisions. But if you’ve worked with bad data before, you’ll know that getting the information you need can be simply impossible.
Most CRM systems will include an in-built reporting function to help you aggregate all of your collected data into a simple textual or graphical report! And the good news is, it’s often super easy!
With CRM fields and validation set already, it’s really easy to pick and chose the data you want and action any calculations on it, such as sum, average or max/min. Plus, there’s no more missing data headaches, thanks to our mandatory field settings.
The big win - simple and effective reporting from a clean and complete data set - giving you the information you need to succeed!
So there it is! 4 great data management benefits you can receive from utilizing a CRM system to manage your business. But don’t just take our word for it, the CRM market is huge and ever expanding so take the time to research whether a CRM system is right for you and your business!
This is a guest blog written by OpenCRM.
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