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A Fortune 500’s Approach To Building An Integrated Customer Data Management Team Offshore

How eClerx Became The Critical Foundation Of A F500 Software Company’s Data Team To Integrate, QA And Manage Their Customer Big Data, Driving $3 Million Quarterly Uplift From Campaigns

Business Challenge


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The sales operations of a Fortune 500 software company was facing significant challenges due to poor customer data quality including missing, orphaned and duplicated data. The data issues directly impacted the effectiveness of their $22mm marketing budget. The situation was compounded as customer data was spread across eight systems globally (both legacy and more “new age”) leading to inconsistent processes, data standards and governance for essentially the same data and objectives.

From a cost point of view, 12 teams globally were spending at least 40% of their time engaged in refining and enriching the contact data that could be better spent on higher value add activities like building marketing and sales plans and driving customer engagement. Finally, there was no defined, structured approach to data quality. Each region and system tackled quality differently, but was usually ad hoc, low priority and not tracked or reported on.

So the client knew there were data quality issues, but had no insight as to what they were or how severe they might be. The client was an innovator in their field for decades, yet they felt they were far from innovative in their customer data management. They urgently wanted (and needed) a “single source of truth” / “single view of the customer” and a best in class, centralized team and ecosystem for managing and maintaining it.

eClerx Solution

The company engaged eClerx to build a better data foundation and robust ongoing customer big data solution. The key success measures of the engagement were to:

  1. improve process efficiency
  2. improve data quality (and thereby increase marketing efficiency and effectiveness)
  3. drive global customer hierarchy consistency
  4. create a single view of the customer; and
  5. reduce costs

To achieve these goals, eClerx deployed our multi-phased eClerx “Customer Data Quality Management (eCDQM)” process across our client’s customer data ecosystem.

The four key phases of the eCDQM entail:

  • Phase 1: As-Is Mapping
  • Phase 2: Mapping Gaps with Best of Breed Processes
  • Phase 3: Implement the Upgraded Processes
  • Phase 4: Measure and Continuous Improvement

Phase 1: eClerx’s CRM Operations Practice Leads and Subject Matter Experts met with key personnel and teams across client locations and documented the current processes. Using a structured discovery process, the eClerx team analyzed and identified pain points, challenges and current performance metrics. As expected, the team identified a number of challenges:

  • Disparate data sources with missing links
  • No clear governance or process on addition, updates and EOL of records
  • Lack of business rules to maintain and manage customer data
  • Multiple stakeholders updating multiple attributes
  • Data exchange between systems (ERD) not documented or incomplete
  • Lack of data quality measurements or dashboards
  • No focused approach to maintain or improve data quality
  • Big investments in web analytics, sales and marketing automation systems, but unable to leverage or reconcile data from and across these multiple systems
  • Inability to track customer lifecycle and leverage customer analytics
  • Single customer receiving multiple campaign outreaches within a week
  • Below industry standard opens, click throughs and bounce rates
  • Sales team frustration on inability to close opportunities due to bad data
  • Despite multiple touch points and interactions with customers across marketing, sales, web, call center, etc., no holistic view of the customer

Phase 2: Drawing on eClerx’s experience with over 50 Global Fortune 1000 clients, and using the eCDQM process, the team designed a customized program to centralize and standardize the customer data management process. Based on the analysis of the ¡§As Is¡¨ state of affairs, a multi-channel data integration roadmap and project plan, incorporating best practices improvements and recommendations, was presented to the client. The client and eClerx jointly refined the plan based on budgets and business goals and a joint project team was formed to execute.

Phase 3: eClerx deployed the data quality and multi-channel integration processes as parallel tracks:

Data Quality Track:

  1. eClerx team profiled the database and designed quality metrics based on Completeness, Correctness, Ageing and Relevancy
  2. eClerx team then designed and suggested the account hierarchy based on DUNS, Legal and Franchise dimensions
  3. Based on the hierarchies, the team defined a comprehensive decision tree based on over 150 business rules based. These rules were defined with the help of eCDQM process
  4. Defined the process and governance structure with designated owners at a data attribute level as per the eCDQM process
  5. Classified the data based on the defined business rules
  6. Cleansed and standardized the data as per defined profiling rules
  7. Enriched the cleansed data by mapping against 12 external data sources (social, industry databases, 3rd party agencies, etc.)
  8. eClerx then defined the hierarchy within the CRM database and built the parent-child relationships with linkages across sources
  9. The final stage involved matching the prospect customer data with the existing data warehouse, identifying and merging duplicate records, leading to the creation of one master record

Multi-Channel Data Integration Track:

  1. eClerx implemented a phased approach based on eCDQM to integrate data from the internal web analytics, sales and marketing automation and traditional ERP systems:
  2. To capture historic data, eClerx team built a data mart to house two years of data. A daily incremental feed was designed to ensure data currency
  3. To ensure data adhered to the proposed data quality initiatives, eClerx performed data cleansing, matching, reconciliation and transformation in the staging environment
  4. Data was pushed from staging to production environment with desired fact tables defined in the data warehouse at appropriate roll-up levels

Phase 4: eClerx established a continuous semi-automated process to monitor data quality across Completeness, Correctness, Ageing and Relevancy, using powerful data visualization techniques. From the dashboard, multiple streams of initiatives were launched to drive improvements with targeted goals in uplift of revenue. The eClerx team also implemented ETL best practices by enabling daily and weekly reporting on marketing KPIs and ongoing monitoring and QA of ETL and reports.

Some of the initiatives which are implemented or on-going based on the data quality dashboard include:

  • Data governance with defined roles based on CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Destroy) principles
  • Tele marketers and account representatives key performance measures now have customer data quality criteria
  • Uplift in revenue and campaign response being tracked and attributed to data quality initiatives
  • Ongoing data governance process setup with key goals at attribute and record level

Business Results

As a result of eClerx’s structured approach to centralized multi-channel data integration and quality, the client has been able to leverage the significantly stronger data foundation by matching and accurately linking contacts and accounts across systems and drive noticeably improved financial benefits.

Key Customer Data Governance Outcomes

  • Improved data governance process efficiency
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved data quality
  • Global customer hierarchy consistency

Broader Business Benefits

  • Improved customer experience through coordinated, relevant and non-conflicting interactions with customers
  • Marketing was able to define and more effectively measure campaign ROIs as email opt-ins increased up by 40%
  • Sales team effectiveness increased through more accurate and valid customer contact data and information
  • One campaign focused on design software customers saw an uplift of $3mm per quarter (vs. similar campaigns prior to the customer data improvement initiative) through better targeting and increased customer base

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About eClerx
eClerx is the leading knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) company providing operational support, data management and reporting and analytics solutions to sales and marketing organizations of over 50 Global Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer 500 scale companies. With a particular focus on the burgeoning digital marketing and ecommerce universe, our clients are among the world’s leading Retail, eCommerce, Software, High Tech and Industrial Manufacturing, Interactive Media and Entertainment, Travel & Leisure and Financial Services companies.

Incorporated in 2000, and public since 2007, we provide our clients with expertise in consulting, rigorous process work-flows, automation and improvement and robust outsourcing solutions to help reduce costs, drive actionable insights to lead fast-paced markets and correct long-standing process inefficiencies. With over 5,500 professionals across five delivery centers worldwide, no job is too large or complicated. Our corporate offices are based in New York, London, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Dublin and Singapore.

Contact eClerx, Americas: Scott McCartney + 646-368-6161
Learn more at
Follow us on Twitter: @eClerxSMS

More Great AIM Stories

Anees Merchant
Anees Merchant leads the global Digital, Applied AI, and Research business at Course5 Intelligence. He has guided sizeable digital transformation initiatives for numerous global Fortune 500 clients, across industries including Retail and eCommerce, Travel and Hospitality, Telecommunications, Technology, and Media over the past 24 years. Anees’ current role at Course5 chiefly involves guiding product innovation, setting go-to-market strategy, scaling the global business, and building the strategic partner ecosystem. Anees is passionate about helping companies grow through the innovative application of AI in digital and insights. Anees is certified in Lean Six Sigma with an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai, and executive education from Harvard Business School. He is the host of the podcast series Masters Decoded and serves as an Advisor for the Wiley Innovation Advisory Council.

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