House hunting feels a lot like investing in MDM or PIM software. Is it the right size? Is it within budget? And who's going to move all your stuff from one place to the next?
Beatrice is a hard-working young professional and, with her landlord selling up in two months’ time, she’s taking her first step on the property ladder. She has a concrete checklist of things she’d like in her new home – an integrated oven, double glazing and a clawfoot bath inspired by the 1800s with gold (and only gold) feet – but as a first-time buyer, Beatrice is struggling to get her plans off the ground.
And she’s also worried about how time-consuming the process will be – with a full-time job and a two-hour commute each day, will it be manageable?
On top of this, Beatrice is feeling bombarded with information. From too many mortgage advisor recommendations, nightmare moving stories from her colleagues and estate agents chomping at the bit to get Beatrice on their books, she’s finding it tricky to see the wood for the trees. What exactly does she need? And where does she even start?
Beatrice is also not the world’s best DIY-er, with a weak eye in interior design. Hanging wallpaper isn’t exactly in her skill set, or even putting up shelves for that matter. And, after living happily in a fully-furnished rented apartment for four years, she has the basics – a kettle, spatula, wobbly bedside table and favourite mug – but she’s still in need of a new bed, sofas and a garden shed.
As you can see, Beatrice is feeling overwhelmed to say the least.
But, what’s all this got to do with data?
A lot, actually. Buying a house is an excellent investment, but it’s also complicated, with many different people playing a vital part along the journey – solicitors, removals companies, mortgage lenders – each one necessary in making Beatrice’s move a success. And data management (whether it’s a PIM or MDM platform) is no different.
OK, you won’t need carpet fitters, but when investing in a data management system, you need to ensure you get it right the first time. Because much like Beatrice’s new home, if your new system isn’t the right fit for your business, it’ll be costly and heavily time consuming to rectify.
Your data quality – or in this case, Beatrice’s furniture – must be fit for purpose. Your data should be migrated efficiently with detailed planning and preparation via a team of experts. And everyone needs to be on the same page – understanding why you are migrating; your strategy; your objectives; and your proposed budget.
Let’s take it back at Beatrice’s current situation for a moment:
- Getting started is proving to be the biggest challenge
- She needs to enlist the help of experts but is overwhelmed by choice
- A plan is vital – from house hunting to packing and picking up the keys
- Furniture is a headache – should she take her four-man dining table and chairs that fit perfectly in the corner of her rental, but might look too small in her new place? And will a new corner sofa be a suitable shape for the lounge?
- Time is of the essence, the landlord has giving her a deadline, so she needs to move quickly
- She doesn’t want to waste any more of the money she’s worked hard to save for her first house on renting – and prices have gone up since she last moved
Now let’s look at the similarities in choosing a data management system:
- There are too many systems to choose from
- Migration is costly, time-consuming and involves a lot of people and 3rd parties – all of which must cover all required skill sets
- Plan, plan, plan – extract and categorise data; map where it’s coming from and going to – what data will be housed in the new system?
- Collect new data if it’s needed, but start with data profiling and cleansing before putting it in its new home
- Prepare your new system before you move data in
- Not investing in a data management system is holding back your business growth plans
If this is your first step into PIM, MDM and data quality management, a data migration strategy is essential. And the best place to start? Consulting the experts. Much like buying a first home, investing in a data management system requires key objectives and specific expertise, so you can effectively start planning for the future.