Aug 2021 | Articles |

A single, consistent view of customer data is powerful for any organisation. You can capture your customer’s identity, seeing who they truly are, and how they are purchasing with you. A data-driven identity strategy gives you the opportunity to maximise your brand’s customer experience and boost revenue.


Our latest research shows 95 percent of businesses have seen impacts related to poor data quality. How does poor-quality data impact your organisation? Thirty two percent believe inaccurate data negatively impacts our reputation and customer trust, and another 32 percent say it negatively impacts customer experience. Imagine trying to know who your customers are without the right information?


If your goal is to implement a thoughtful identity strategy, these six steps will help you prepare your data for a more complete customer view.


1. Know what data you want to connect.


Depending on your business model, you may want to consider consolidating your disparate data sources. Unifying your databases through a centralised location like a CRM, marketing automation platform, or data lake, will help you holistically see your records and prepare them for standardisation, de-duplication, validation, and enrichment.


If consolidating your databases is not an option for your business model, it’s important to connect your records through a reference file. This is where identity resolution is key. With a reference file, you can unify your databases without centralising them and see who your customers are holistically. For example, you can see that John Smith is your customer across various businesses within your brand. With this information, you can now better personalise his customer experience, avoid risky loans, and more.


2. Pinpoint the problem areas.


Once you’ve pulled the data together, use data profiling to evaluate its accuracy and completeness. Data profiling helps you discover relationships and trends within your data, understand what problems may exist, and identify the actions to take to remedy the issues. Make sure each customer record is unique, complete, and accurate by focusing on uncovering duplicates, incomplete values, and anomalies.


3. Transform the data.


By uncovering the inaccuracies with your data, you will have the ability to see errors like, invalid, duplicated, and incomplete records. Transform your data and fix these inaccuracies by standardising inconsistent formats, validating emails, addresses, and phone numbers; and appending additional information to incomplete records. Ensuring that your data is high quality with consistent formatting is a critical step in creating a customer view that is cohesive and accurate.


Data matching and harmonisation are key to your identity strategy. These capabilities are like joining puzzle pieces together. Techniques like “fuzzy matching” help you find connections between data elements across different channels despite keyboard errors, missing words, or name variations.


Additionally, you should harmonise the data. Harmonisation is a deduplication process that takes clusters of duplicate records and, with the right technology, allows you to apply sophisticated business rules to create a single resulting record for each cluster. Matching and harmonisation help you filter out duplicates and create the most accurate records for identity resolution.  


4. Fill the gaps.


You’ve standardised your data and removed duplicates, but still notice missing entries. A solution like a data append service is helpful for adding missing bits of customer information to your existing records. For example, a bulk data append could provide new details for customers you have been unable to contact. Another path to a more complete customer view is enrichment. Enrichment will enhance your contact records with consumer attributes like demographics or buying preferences. This helps you develop a fuller, more detailed picture of your customer.


5. Monitor and maintain the data.


The key to seeing high ROI on your identity strategy is to continuously maintain and monitor your data to ensure it’s accurate and fit for purpose. Whether that means integrating data management software to automate data quality control into your tech stack or a real-time data validation service, it’s important to be confident in the data insights you are leveraging for identity resolution.


Data management as part of identity resolution creates a trustworthy and holistic view of your customers, enabling you to streamline operations, minimise risk, and improve customer experience. The more you can arm yourself with consistent, accurate information about your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them. Maximising the potential of your customer data can help you grow your revenue and surpass your competition.


Need help harnessing data for your identity strategy? Learn how Experian can help you today.