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What the heck is a Data Strategy?

A data strategy is thought process. It is a data driven approach to decision making. It is understanding that some data is fairly static and some data is fluid and time sensitive.

Your data strategy does not supersede Sales and Marketing, it is interwoven in to the fabric of your company processes. A data strategy is any decision that effects the quality, consistency or long term sustainability of your data. You should have data strategy for your entire company, however, for the sake of brevity, the focus here will be as it relates to trade shows. Whether you know it or not, data drives your business.

    Data is crucial and if you want to come back from Dreamforce with the best data possible, review these 7 tips from a veteran of 200+ trade shows.

    1. Data collection reality check.
      Technology has the effect of stopping people from thinking. If you are using the scanning devices provided by the show, ask yourself this question: Did YOU input all your information on your registration form? Phone, MOBILE phone, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, etc? Probably not. So get the electronic scan but also get the business card.
    2. Develop a data standardization policy
      Here is an example of a golden record vs. forty three (43) variants of the same company name. Tools like RingLead’s DataShield will help design a data standard as well as enforce it. Ugly, non-standard data comes in, clean, standardized data comes out.


    3. Standardize your trade show data.
      Below is a sample data standards policy. Every company can define its own policy. This is very powerful when working with data from multiple sources/vendors, including data you collect from a trade show. You can get data from, Zoominfo, D&B and each company will deliver data in a different format. If you enforce data standards, you will match incoming data records 2 1/2 times more often than having no data standards. This equates to fewer duplicates and lost data in your system.


    4. Standardize your existing CRM data.
      Think about it: if your brand new trade show data is clean, but you are overlaying it on dirty data that has not been cleaned in years, much of the value of your new data will be lost.

    5. Standardize your existing Marketing Automation System data
      For those that move data into Marketo, Hubspot, Pardot, Eloqua, etc. The base of data needs to be clean, just like your CRM data.

    6. Use an Enterprise Data Import Tool
      Don’t CREATE duplicates when importing trade show data. Use a tool that automatically resolves duplicates or prompts the user to choose from a list of flagged dupes. RingLead’s Unique Upload tool is head and shoulders above other commercially available data import tools.

    7. Immediately take action to standardize, import and enhance your new leads.
      Contact data decays at 4-5% per month. If you wait a month to take action on your new leads, you have already lost about 5% of them.

    Learn more about creating a successful post-show strategy here.

    This article was originally featured on Salesfiction.

    The author:

    Donato Diorio is the Interim CEO of RingLead with primary responsibility of combining the teams, technology and vision of RingLead and Broadlook Technologies, a data technology company founded by Donato. Donato started his career as a software engineer and quickly became a specialist in process automation. Software architect first, top billing recruiter second, Donato combined his two careers; technology and talent selection to found Broadlook Technologies in 2002.