The Challenge

Real Deals is a fortnightly magazine and online content platform specialising in European private equity. In addition to the content platform, Real Deals also runs prestigious award ceremonies and conferences such as the Private Equity Awards.

Real Deals made the decision to consolidate its sales and marketing systems in order to unify how the business communicated with its customers, increase automation and improve detailed reporting on campaign performance.

Real Deals had accumulated a diverse range of data focussed on the customer collected over many years from multiple sources, both on and offline. This customer data, housed across multiple databases, needed to be handled with extreme care as it represents the core asset of the business.

Real Deals' datasets had not previously been cleansed so the initial challenge involved:

  • Auditing and categorising a large amount of disparate data
  • Understanding the datasets to determine the data with value to cleanse
  • Analysing and identifying active records to validate and verify
  • Collaborate with the Real Deals team to define the “minimum data footprint
  • Advise on what datasets would not add value to Real Deals or its customers

All the Real Deals data was to be migrated into a single new CRM solution. The assessment and onboarding of the right CRM system required a good understanding of the data, business cases for the data and the resources available. Crucially, only clean data which met the minimum data footprint was to be migrated across to a new optimised CRM system after selection.

The Journey

Auditing the data ahead of the database migration ensured that only quality data was transferred. The data fell into three categories:

  • Members database
  • Contacts database
  • Leads database

The selection and extraction of data for migration to the new CRM system was crucial as the above datasets all represent opportunities for new memberships and event attendees.

Due to each record having a potentially high lead value, a diligent approach was required to preserve as much data as possible, whilst safeguarding data quality. Additionally, there was a very large volume of data so a prioritised strategy was taken to yield the highest return in time versus amount of data cleansed.

On this basis a data quality audit was carried out to identify active records and enrich existing data where possible with email, telephone and address validation and verification ahead of the extraction of clean records, to be migrated across to a new system.

A minimum data footprint was agreed upon with the Real Deals team to include email, telephone and name fields. This footprint was not only used when cleaning Real Deals’ existing database, it was also used as a template to adjust and standardise Real Deals data collection policy moving forward.

The Results

  • Working to a functional specification from the Real Deals team to take data from over 20 locations, assess, onboard and migrate the database to a new Salesforce CRM system.
  • Full data quality audit (several million records), assessing data quality and GDPR compliance.
  • Defined and applied validation and verification criteria to enrich records.
  • Enrichment and extraction of clean, commercially valuable records, for migration.
  • Identified fields, tables and relationships for Salesforce CRM set up and configuration.
  • Migration of clean data to new, consolidated, Salesforce CRM platform.
  • Quality controlled new live data in Salesforce to match cleansed data.
  • Defined Real Deals “minimum data footprint”, standardising all data collection points.
  • Ongoing data support to increase data quality, QC data and collection points over time.