I attended a seminar on building a successful data warehouse sponsored by Adastra and Informatica on improving data and information quality. It was really interesting, I had a couple of major revelations.
Bob Terdeman, Rogers Chief Information Architect, spoke about his experience implementing data warehouses, choosing vendors and gaining support in the organization. His main point about all of our IT projects was that they [IT projects] are all about improving the customer experience. While this may be generalizing his comments slightly, I think that this captures the essence.
Its the customer experience
Bob’s argument was that why would a company embark on a data quality initiative. Well for a company in the US, where there are 300+ million possible consumers, having incorrect customer information while costly may not have an immediate effect on financial performance. That is, for corporations that operate where there are huge potential customer bases, improving data quality for single customer retention is not that big of a driver. In markets with a smaller size, e.g., Canada (approximately 30 million potential consumers), that a poor customer experience is key to not only growth but maintenance of operations.
Why do you stay with Rogers…
Bob related a story of why some customers choose to stay with Rogers, " it’s because we hate Bell more". That’s a scary thought. I know as a consumer I often feel this way about Canadian corporations since returning from the US. There are often only 1 or 2 maybe 3 choices. You get to choose between Bell Satellite TV or Rogers Cable. (Wireless service in downtown Toronto might be the exception where there are 4 choices: Rogers-ATT Wireless, Telus, Bell Mobility and Fido).
How many Canadians have a horror story about a financial institution? Almost everyone. It’s never the same FI, but just ask someone, wether it’s Royal Bank (perhaps the last fiasco will be forgotten), TD Bank, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal or CIBC. I’m sure that every Canadian has had a bad experience. And there is no way we’d ever consider going back. So the goal with each IT project is to improve the customer experience. Because when it comes down to it, if you are working to keep me, somebody else is definitely working to steal me as a customer.
I had never thought of a data quality project as a customer experience project. But I think Rogers CIO has the right idea.