CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality Enterprise Integrations. Guidance for maximising your investment in enterprise applications

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1 CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality Enterprise Integrations Guidance for maximising your investment in enterprise applications February 2014

2 Table of contents 1. Challenge Overview Experian Data Quality at a glance Experian Data Quality for Enterprise Applications Experian Data Quality for Enterprise Application solution review and strategy Standards & openness support Roadmap directions Competitive Differentiation CIC Analysis Summary benefits Guidance strategies 08 Foreword Business leaders are beginning to wake up to the fact that their core customer data must be of the highest standard to enable a consistent service experience. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications sit at the very centre of this issue, but the age old adage remains true that the system is only ever as good as the data that enters into it. Data flows into the organisation from multiple sources and the risk of contamination needs to be managed carefully to avoid undermining the investment that has already been made in CRM technology within the business. The solution is to protect your enterprise CRM through integrated software tools that manage data at the point of capture and overtime. This audit looks at the Experian Data Quality software offerings with pre-built integrations into enterprise applications. Ian Murphy, Principal Analyst, Creative Intellect Consulting Bola Rotibi, Research Director, Creative Intellect Consulting Creative Intellect Consulting is an analyst research, advisory and consulting firm focused on software development, delivery and lifecycle management across the Software and IT spectrum along with their impact on, and alignment with, business. Read more about our services and reports at

3 1. Challenge Overview Companies are making significant investments in CRM and ERP systems as part of consolidation initiatives in order to drive business efficiency and a high standard of customer experience. A key element of these critical business systems is the underlying data that sits within them which is used to power a wide range of business functions and processes such as customer contact and support, order management and invoicing along with strategy and planning. Business Intelligence and Analytics have long been touted as key investment areas for organisations as they drive towards better decision making to leverage competitive advantage. This is well justified but data accuracy is ultimately the cornerstone of great business intelligence and actionable insight. The underestimation of this problem in the market is very real when you consider CIC have found that up to 8 in 10 organisations using contact data for business intelligence had problems generating meaningful analytics from it. The vast majority blamed inaccurate or missing information as the root cause of their problem in this area. The challenge revolves largely around justifying the less glamorous and potentially more onerous task of addressing the data quality gap either prior to migrating to a new enterprise CRM system or retrospectively depending on when the issue has been diagnosed. This leads us on nicely to business case development. When considering an initiative of this scale and the ROI it can generate it is important to account for both hard and soft benefits. Hard benefits that you can assign a specific value to such as support costs and measured efficiency gains through automating the more manual processes - as a result of integrated data quality technology - are a solid foundation that can be relied to build initial projections. Soft benefits are generally less reliable in terms of short term value but arguably just as important. A classic example of this is the impact accurate data has on a reduction in regulatory compliance risk for example, which whilst hard to quantify CIC see as being a primary driver behind data quality technology investment within enterprise applications today. It is important to note that the integration of CRM and ERP with other IT systems means that any data related project must have a wider focus. Consideration must be given to processes, risk, integration, import/export of data, end-user training, all of these need to be part of the solution, otherwise the benefits from the data initiative will quickly diminish. Investing in CRM technology alone is not enough. Companies need to focus on the quality of their data and the processes surrounding that application. Only those companies that make this level of commitment will recoup the expected return on investment outcomes included in their initial CRM business case. 1.1 Experian Data Quality at a glance Experian Data Quality has built up exceptional market coverage assisting customers with their unique data challenges. Their vision is to ensure that all of the data their customers hold is fit for purpose and quality is maintained overtime. The company provides a comprehensive toolkit for data quality projects combining software with a broad scope of reference data assets and services. The Experian Data Quality goal is to enable customers to make the right decisions from accurate and reliable data. The size and scope of data management projects varies considerably but the common factor in all ventures is unlocking operational efficiency and improving customer engagement. The core capabilities of Experian Data Quality lie in the following areas: Data quality strategy and processes Profiling and visualisation Cross channel data validation (Address, , mobile) Cleansing and deduplication Data enrichment at point of contact or retrospectively Governance and monitoring CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality- 3

4 In the table below, we provide an outline of the important categories that help to define the characteristics that need to be considered in vendor evaluation when sourcing data quality software tools for enterprise applications. The following Figure 1 then provides Creative Intellect Consulting s rating review of the Experian Data Quality Enterprise Applications Integrations portfolio. Table 1: Key categories and characteristics for integrated data quality software offerings Category Criteria Coverage of pre-built integrations Ability to build bespoke integrations Support and maintenance Level of accreditation Scalability of solution Systems Integrator Engagement External Reference Data Support Project Management Support Evaluation Definition Availability of off the shelf integrations for contact data validation into key enterprise applications. Level of resource and consultancy expertise available to build bespoke integrations for more complex end-to-end customer requirements. This evaluates the level of technical support available to customers in the case of product functionality challenges This indicates level of certification achieved from Enterprise Application vendors Ability to scale the solution across the organisation both in terms of additional users and or additional applications Indicates level of engagement past and current with key systems integrators This evaluates the extent, breadth and sophistication of the access to third party reference datasets and the support given for use and validation Depicts level of services and project implementation support available as part of project scope Figure 1: Chart representing Creative Intellect Consulting s rating review of the Experian Data Quality Enterprise Applications Integrations portfolio. Score guide 1 Laggard 3 Market Mean 6 Market Leading External Reference Data Support Coverage of Pre- Built Integrations Ability to Build Bespoke Integrations Systems Integrator Engagement 1 0 Support and Maintenance Scalability of solution Level of Accrediation 4 - CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality Project Management Support

5 1.2 Experian Data Quality for Enterprise Applications We have already touched upon the Experian Data Quality contact data suite of software tools in our companion paper Guidance for the use of data quality tools to leverage data advantage. In summary these offerings assist organisations in the process of capturing, cleaning and enriching the standard of party data overtime. The core principles around the functionality and benefits of this product set remain the same but by putting particular focus on the more sophisticated enterprise applications from vendors such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce.com with pre-packaged, off the shelf integrations Experian Data Quality offer customers a key benefit that is desperately required by all IT buyers time to value. Where the offering becomes more compelling is when we move away from the concept of point tools which have value in their own right to the notion of an end to end data quality offering. This forms a data quality firewall of sorts surrounding the CRM application ensuring that data entering the system is accurate and exclusive of duplicate records. A diagram of this data quality process can be found below: BULK PROCESS IMPORT FILE IMPORT FILE CLEAN ADDRESS & DEDUPE DATA QUALITY MANAGEMENT (DQM) EXPORT RESULTS CRM SYSTEM REAL TIME SEARCH RUN SEARCH LOOK FOR MATCHING RECORDS MATCH FOUND? TRUE FALSE MATCHED RECORD NO MATCH SEARCH RECORD Key features included in the Experian Data Quality solution include: Consultancy support to analyse existing processes and ensure integration needs are met in full An end to end solution that performs all data quality tasks as required as part of one process The module is designed to work with any CRM or SCV data store (although bespoke connectors may be required) Consistent set of rules to handle duplicate records both at the point of capture and retrospectively Full knowledge transfer and training post implementation 1.3 Experian Data Quality for Enterprise Application solution review and strategy Experian Data Quality has a range of integrations targeted at different CRM and ERP suites. These are designed to embed data quality technology into the heart of the application driving a seamlessly automated experience for the user. In terms of deployment the Experian Data Quality Professional Services team can assist in accelerating the roll out of projects harnessing years of integration experience freeing up project resource within the organisation. The supported CRM and ERP products are: QAS for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Experian is a Microsoft Dynamics solution partner and therefore meets strict requirements over the integration of their solution with Dynamics CRM. The key cleaning points are around addresses, exclusions and Experian s validation service. Customers can combine this with the full range of other Experian data sets, including international data, to enrich and clean the data. With an increase in customers using Microsoft Dynamics CRM via hosted or cloud solutions, Experian Data Quality offers the ability to use the solution either on premise or on-demand. CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality- 5

6 QAS for Siebel: As an Oracle Gold software solution partner, Experian provides a full end-toend data quality suite for Siebel CRM, with the capability to interrogate records in real-time at the point of entry, as well as the traditional back-end cleansing and deduplication. Data cleansing applies to new data and to historic data. QAS for Oracle e-business Suite (EBS): Experian is a Global Oracle Gold Partner allowing them to work with Oracle customers around the world. This integration is into the front-end EBS systems rather than just into the back-end database, allowing it to be easily deployed as a capture and clean solution. As with other offerings, customers have access to all Experian s data sets for cleaning and enriching their data. QAS for Oracle CRM On Demand: As an Oracle Partner, Experian has integrated its own address checking routines with Oracle CRM On Demand cloud solution. The data is maintained by Experian Data Quality on their own servers, ensuring that customer do not need to worry about updates and product maintenance. As users enter new data, they can use a search button to validate the address or assist with selecting the right data to input into the database. QAS for Salesforce.com: This solution integrates Experian Data Quality online solutions with Salesforce.com. It captures and validates all address data, including international data. Users can take advantage of a range of additional Experian data sets to enhance their data. As all the data is held and maintain online by Experian, users do not have to worry about updates and integration with their CRM suite. QAS for SAP: Experian Data Quality is a certified Global SAP Software Solution Partner and employs its own SAP trained staff who maintain QAS for SAP. This solution captures, cleans and deduplicates address and other data at both the point of entry and at the Quarterly Adjustment Implementation. QAS for SAP can be easily integrated into any SAP business suite workflow making it a seamless solution for SAP customers. 1.4 Standards & openness support Experian s integrations are built adhering to best practice and certified by each of the respective vendors. Easy to integrate API s and webservices can be customised to meet specific business needs, enabling customers to quickly improve database health within their CRM and ERP systems. For those customers using the Experian On Demand tools, integration is done by Experian and maintained as part of the vendor partner programmes. 1.5 Roadmap directions Experian Data Quality demonstrates impressive capability and has proven they can supply a compelling end to end data quality solution to the market. There is a continual focus on refining the complete contact data lifecycle, from real time deduplication, back-end hygiene right through to enrichment and making the interface intuitive and easy to use for both the technical and non-technical user. CIC sees a real requirement in the market for this one stop shop data quality approach to underpin CRM technology. Where we see potential for development in the product roadmap is a reduction in the requirement for professional services intervention in building bespoke connectors for certain applications. This would make the solution more readily available for customers in the SME space who may not have the budgets to acquire the level of integration assistance a project of this nature requires. 1.6 Competitive Differentiation Experian Data Quality draw on over 20 years experience in building and hosting software tools, offering significant value through their comprehensive range of integrations into enterprise applications. By creating solutions that are tightly integrated with the CRM and ERP systems, it is now easy for companies to raise the level of their data quality without having to do extensive coding. For those customers that do not want to manage the deployments themselves Experian has made SaaS options available. A significant differentiator is the breadth of the Experian data assets, which allow companies to add further enhancements and enrichment to the data they currently hold. A wide range of geo-demographic, business, consumer and government data sets, allows greater opportunities for analysis, profiling and segmentation. This highlights the point that getting accurate data is one challenge but adding insight to it and using that insight to drive the business forward is the ultimate goal. 6 - CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality

7 This is a goal that Experian Data Quality are well placed in the market to assist with as a subsidiary business of the leading global information company Experian. With few companies operating in a single market today, the ability of Experian to provide access to a wide range of international data is a critical business differentiation. While it is possible for customers to source the international data themselves, having it delivered as part of a single coherent solution, makes it easier to utilise and less prone to error. 2. CIC Analysis Experian s reputation as a data management company, its breadth of data sets and the ability to deliver enterprise grade processes has made it a key partner for the large CRM and ERP vendors. Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com and Microsoft own a little under 40% of the CRP and ERP market between them and by being a partner, Experian has made itself a go to company for those looking to raise their core enterprise data quality. By building its product portfolio in such a way as to allow customers to buy in just the tools or implement the Data Quality Modules in their entirety, Experian has given its customers a range of solutions. More importantly, these solutions are built in such a way that customers do not have to throw away products as they move up the Experian Data Quality product stack. By developing an end to end data quality process drawing upon existing software tools and reference data assets, Experian has put data quality within the reach of companies that would have previously not been able to deal with their existing data. One of the challenges we see for Experian is to expand away from the big four into the growing market of Open Source and small vendor CRM/ ERP solutions. These account for over 60% of the market and are worth over US$10bn in sales annually. This route to market may well come from Experian s partners who are already white labelling their APIs for address management solutions. However, we see an opportunity for Experian to address this market by making its APIs more readily accessible, especially to the Open Source community. 2.1 Summary benefits One of the most important parts of this solution is that this is not just about integrating complex solutions it s about the deployment options that are available. Experian Data Quality has both On Premise and SaaS offerings for customers and both are designed as certified plug-ins for the CRM and ERP suites. This enables customers to focus on their own processes and ensuring that they keep their data as clean as is possible. The key benefits of the Experian Data Quality offerings for Enterprise Applications are: Pre-packaged integration methodologies Flexible deployment options (SaaS vs. On Premise) Ability to clean data at all points in the cycle from capture through to existing enterprise data International data sets that spans over 250 countries, enabling multinational business needs Ability to support continuous data quality validation to enable customers to build a robust and trustworthy data quality process These benefits ensure that companies can reduce and even eliminate the risk of data drift from their business, lowering cost and raising customer satisfaction levels The breadth of Experian s data sets in the UK, USA and its other very large markets is something that we would like to see replicated across more countries. Experian Data Quality offers a full process solution for customers with complex CRM and ERP installations. This is not just about capturing and cleaning new data but about managing historical and core data to ensure a continuous data quality process. CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality- 7

8 3. Guidance strategies Data quality is no longer a nice value add for the business, it is a prerequisite for any quality driven environment. As companies invest more time in looking at their existing data for new business opportunities, they can only create competitive advantage if the data that they are working with is of a high enough quality. For many companies, this is seen as focusing on cleaning data as it is acquired. However, there is now a recognition that core enterprise data also needs to be regularly cleaned and validated to prevent data drift. The problem with this data is that it is deeply embedded into complex systems and the challenges and risk of unloading, cleaning and reloading the data have hitherto been seen as being too complex for many companies to deal with. CIC recommends consideration to the following when embarking on a data transformation project to drive CRM effectiveness: Drive consideration around the current state of data quality within the CRM or ERP application Identify data quality processes that sit in and around the core CRM or ERP application Focus on technology vendors who offer improved time to value through pre-built integrations or methodologies Consider the scalability of the solution architecture being proposed Do not ignore the importance of training, knowledge transfers and support and maintenance as part of the project plan Getting the processes for managing data right and ensuring that all information is treated consistently when it comes to enter the system is the key to delivering real customer insight that can be consumed by business intelligence and analytics tooling. 8 - CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality

9 Creative Intellect Consulting is an analyst research, advisory and consulting firm focused on software development, delivery and lifecycle management across the Software and IT spectrum along with their impact on, and alignment with, business. Read more about our services and reports at CIC Audit Review: Experian Data Quality- 9

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