Q: Your firm has 500 attorneys and 400,000 contacts — how many of those contacts are dirty?
Answer: about 120,000.
Industry research shows that between 20% and 40% of CRM contacts are out-of-date or otherwise inaccurate.
But wait, it gets even worse…
Those remaining 280,000 good contacts are deteriorating - at a rate of 2% per month. That means that, this time next year, less than half of the contacts in your 400,000 contact CRM will still be valid.
So what is the real dollar value of a CRM with 40% dirty data?
If a CRM with 100% clean data has 100% of its value, does that mean that a CRM with 60% clean data has 60% value?
No. The real value is closer to $0 - why? Simple - because there is no way to know which contact is clean and which is dirty. It all comes down to trust - can a partner trust the CRM content when they need contact information? How many bouncebacks will a mailer to a firm’s most valued clients generate? Moreover, how much revenue can a CRM contaminated with dirty data actually generate?
The problem is compounded by where contacts come from in the first place. Contacts provided from attorney address books are fouled at the source, as it is impossible to know with confidence whether a contact is 5 minutes old…or 5 years.
At the end of the day, your CRM is only as valuable as its content.
Your investment in your CRM software, the hardware it resides on, and the human resources that keep it going all adds up to roughly zip if your content is corrupt. It’s like investing in state-of-the-art plumbing, only to pump sewage out your shower.
What does it take to clean up dirty data? For our hypothetical 400,000 contacts database, it takes 12,000 person-hours (6 FTE’s) to do the initial cleanup (+ another 9,000 hours per year to keep it clean).
There’s one catch: how do you know which contacts are dirty?
Answer: you don’t.
What are your options?
1. You can recruit an army of people to manually check and update each and every one of your CRM contacts
2. You can clean up your contacts with gwabbit
What is gwabbit?
The gwabbit concept is remarkably simple: harvest contacts automatically from firm emails (the freshest source available), then compare them (again, automatically) against existing CRM contacts to identify contacts that are: a) out-of-date; b) new; or c) duplicates.
gwabbit places out-of-date contacts in a queue to be reviewed by data stewards using gwabbit’s Data Quality Manager (DQM) console. DQM displays the gwabbit contact side-by-side with the CRM contact, and highlights the CRM fields it thinks are out-of-date. The data steward can then slide the updated fields into the CRM with a mouseclick.
How much faster does gwabbit clean contacts than traditional methods?
Answer: 36x faster
Again, assuming it’s possible to identify all the contacts that need to be updated the old-fashioned way, it still takes an average of 6 minutes per contact to update them. By contrast, gwabbit identifies out-of-date contacts automatically and updates them in under 10 seconds - 36 times faster!
So, for our hypothetical CRM of 400,000 contacts, to clean up dirty contacts the traditional way, 6 full time data stewards would be required, at a burdened cost of $360,000.
With gwabbit, only 0.17 of one person is required, at a burdened rate of $10,000:
In addition to saving 5.8 people and $350,000, the resulting contact quality is far better with gwabbit than is possible with 6 data stewards manually reviewing contacts.
gwabbit also finds new high-value contacts not already present in your CRM, enabling you to expand your firm’s business development initiatives.
How many new contacts? Our hypothetical 500-person firm could expect to mine as many as 200,000 new contacts within gwabbit’s first year - a 50% boost in its CRM volume.
Finally, a word about duplicates - normally, duplicates are valueless in a contact management application, though gwabbit puts duplicates to work, updating the date/time stamp on CRM contacts in order for the system to know the last date and time a contact was known to be current. This is invaluable for comparing and updating contacts with confidence - why?
If a data steward is comparing two contacts for the same person, and there is no date/time stamp, how do they no which contact is current?
The answer is: they don’t know, which is a big part of the reason it takes so long to update contacts with confidence.
More and better contacts for a fraction of the cost - what’s not to like?