Recently in a Linked In Eloqua forum, the question was asked “When doing Data Cleansing, should one start with CRM or Eloqua?”
When we do it for our customers, we usually do both. There are particular types of data cleansing issues that affect one system that don’t affect the other, and if you don’t consider and fix both, your data doesn’t get clean.
Example1: CRM systems will typically allow duplicate email addresses. Eloqua doesn’t. If you don’t clean the CRM system of dup email addys, your data doesn’t get clean.
Example2: Eloqua typically contains CRM ID#s. Usually some of these are no longer valid when referenced in the CRM system. If Eloqua isn’t cleaned from this perspective, your data doesn’t get clean. Perhaps more importantly, when we clean from this perspective, we often find integration gaps!
Example3: Both systems have very different and unique data structures that exist only in that system. These need to be considered in the cleaning process. If you cleaned CRM without considering Eloqua Data Cards… ick. And of course, vice versa for a wide-variety of CRM structures.
Lastly while theoretically perhaps your two systems contain identical datasets, (or one is a subset of the other), rarely is that true in real life. Data cleansing almost always reveals in a real-life system that Eloqua has records that never made it to CRM and vice versa. If you approach the data with the assumption that one system is accurate in reference to the other, you’ll often not only leave dirty data in one system, you’ll also miss revealing systemic process or integration problems that if revealed would solve the root cause of some of the data issues!
Bottom line: When you have two systems, truly cleaning the data requires cleaning the data’s relationship to the data in the other system.