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December 2014, Volume 2, Number 6

Ignore customer data quality at your peril

Customer data management is not high on many organizations' lists of priorities -- until it has to be. Customers get the same ads over and over again. They say a company they've done business with for years doesn't know them. Or thinks they're someone else. Then they get mad. Then they leave.

Sound familiar? It should, because it's all too common. This issue of Business Information explores customer data quality issues at Boston public media organization WGBH, which hadn't kept its contact data stores clean for 60 years. The result was a morass of disorganized, incorrect and duplicate data that did little to impress donors that keep WGBH's TV and radio broadcasts on the air. In their cover story, Lauren Horwitz, executive editor of SearchCRM, and Tim Ehrens, site editor, look at the customer data messes made at WGBH and other organizations -- and how they remedied, or are remedying, the problems. Sophisticated technology like master data management software is one possible solution to the problem, Horwitz finds -- and good, old-fashioned data cleansing is another. Continuing the focus on customer data, Ed Burns, site and news editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics, reports on the customer analytics programs at companies such as eBay, Sears and Netflix. They're tapping their vast wells of customer data to extract valuable insights that can aid efforts to both attract new customers and keep the ones they already have happy.

Grab another cup of joe and keep reading for a reality check on Java 8, the newest version of the programming language. Oracle released it in March and says its language structure is simpler, making it easier than ever to design software. But does it stand up to rival languages like Scala and Clojure -- and will big organizations even opt for Java 8 when they can extend investments in older versions?

There's more: Dreamforce 2014 attendees' take on Salesforce.com's new analytics offering, a human resources IT director originally from Vietnam whose difficult assimilation to the U.S. led her to improve the new-hire orientation process at her current employer, and a new writer of our "Connect IT" column tells readers to throw out everything they know about the software selection process.

Features in this issue

Columns in this issue

SearchBusinessAnalytics

SearchAWS

SearchContentManagement

SearchOracle

SearchSAP

SearchSQLServer

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