Does Your Customer Intelligence Problem Need a “Data Whisperer”?


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The National Geographic Channel showcases Cesar Millan as the “Dog Whisperer.” He is a world-renowned dog behavior specialist known for his uncanny ability to rehabilitate dogs from a wide range of extreme behavior issues. Although I don’t own a dog it is still a fun show to watch. Talking about specialists, have you ever felt like you needed a “Data Whisperer” to rehabilitate your customer intelligence? I have, because even a small dog can deliver a big bite when their data seems incorrigible.

Small organizations (SMB’s) often have data silos just as you would find in the Fortune 500. Not nearly as many sources or transactions – and perhaps not geographically spread out – but still a challenge. For example, when an entrepreneur starts out with records on note cards and then moves to QuickBooks and then migrates to Lawson on the accounting side the data can get a little dirty. Next factor in customer records that also start out on note cards, move to Goldmine and then migrated to Maximizer and you can begin to hear your customer intelligence growling. I don’t want to get into professional services or whether or not a particular application has the hooks and interfaces for a seamless migration leading to that 360 degree view of the customer.

Now, let’s get back to the Whisperer. Sometimes Cesar is called in to help a dog owner bring chaos into order by anchoring the home with calm-assertive energy. In short, a pack leader is needed to maintain balance. Not long ago I helped one of my client’s appoint an employee to take on that role. No, we didn’t use the title Pack Leader – on your organizational chart it’s most likely labeled as Project Lead. It sounds like a small thing, but picking the right person for the role makes a difference in the long-term success of your data integration project.

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