Data ownership: who really owns your data in a CRM deployment

By - July 11, 2013

We have heard a lot of concerns about data ownership at new client sights.  These concerns are not whether the client or Microsoft owns the data, but what individual at the client owns the data within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  This is usually dealing with specific records in which a user has a vested interest, be it an address or contact for example.  It usually deals with that person’s responsibility or some cleanup that was required in the past.  Typically there are elaborate JavaScript code or workflow that does not let others modify this information or if someone else is allowed to modify this information, it must be approved prior to letting that data ‘go prime time’.

I often come back to the thought that just by creating these routines, we are defeating what the purpose of CRM is really for, collective intelligence.  In these scenarios, if a sales rep is out at a client site, only to see that the client has moved, the sales rep must call back to the office to find the appropriate person that can modify the record.  This person must update the record and confirm back to the sales rep that the record has been updated.  Worse yet, the sales rep knows that he does not have access to that piece of information and decides not to do anything with these piece of intelligence.  Now all mailings are going to the wrong location and the next rep that needs to visit this customer doesn’t know where to go and assume this customer is out of business.  All this because a user does not want someone to ‘touch my data’.

In situations like this, I ask the customer to remember why the decision was made to buy a CRM system.  It is for centralized data, to give all the users one place to find information and to cut down on the internal communication that occurs for general information (such as an address).  The same user that is looking to protect his data needs to be reminded that although the data he is responsible for is open for modification by the rest of the organization, it is also open for consumption.  Other individuals should stop calling for information that is in the system.  That could be addresses, open orders and help desk items.  In addition, that user has access to a vast amount of data that would not have been available prior to the system.  Bottom line, the user may have to fix an address, but should have so much more information available that this annoyance offsets.

We have many case studies which reflect this scenario and they demonstrate how a centralized system will improve productivity and increase efficiency.  If you are in a similar situation, RSM can help.  Contact our professionals today and learn about our SmartStart programs for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  These programs are designed to get your organization up and running quickly.

By: Bob Kanzler – New Jersey Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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