Keeping your data to a really high standard is not an easy task and requires some time and effort. There are a few relatively simple tasks that you can complete on a regular basis in order to stay on top of the quality of data going into your system. However, like everything else, the longer you let it pile up, the bigger the job becomes.
We would recommend just 10-15 minutes per week going over duplicates and other records in the system to ensure that it's up to your standards.
Here are a few ways that you can ensure that the data in your CM database is up to standard.
Business rules/Data Protocols document
The best way to improve data quality in the system is to make sure that your team are all on the same page with what data needs to be inputted and how that data needs to be inputted. It helps if this can start with management, and it becomes a requirement that the whole team from the top down understand why you're using a Stakeholder engagement system, and how to use that system effectively.
We strongly recommend to have a strict data protocols document that makes things really clear when it comes to how data needs to be entered into the system. This document needs to be created with your end result in mind. Whatever is important to your organisation to track and report on, needs to have clear outlines for how you'll get the outputs that you need. Should you need to report on how many complaints you're receiving, how they are being delivered and the topics that are discussed, then that's something that needs to be very clear to all users of your system from the beginning.
At the bottom of this article, you'll find an example of a data protocols document, please feel free to use this document, and re-brand and add in your organisation's specific details.
Having two or three ‘champions’ that take ownership of the database means that data is regularly checked and users that are not adhering to the rules can be notified. From our experience, organisations with people really in control of what's going into the database tend to have better quality data.
Your champions should follow the below regular checks when they have time (understandably most people don't have time!), but if these things are done regularly it means it doesn't take much time. It only becomes a large task if left for a long period of time!
Regularly checking data entered is the best way to be on top of what's going into your system. This also means advising the users that are not following the same protocols as everyone else that they need to improve the quality of their data. It's likely that the users don't understand what the data is being used for or contributing to, so educating your users on these aspects of why the system is used can be an important part of this process.
Audit data by regular checks of random records recently created. Events entered will have the user that created them linked, so it's obvious who has entered what.
Check that all relevant relationships have been created.
That the data entered is valuable, and up to the standards of your business.
That the format of the data is working for your desired outcomes.
Some ways that you can search more specifically for data that might not have the required links is by searching for negatives:
Find Stakeholders where Related Event doesn’t exist.
Find Event where related Stakeholder doesn’t exist.
Find Action where related Event/Stakeholder doesn’t exist
Find outstanding Actions that are overdue.