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October 25, 2021

CRM Data Not Delivering Promised Insights, Forrester Finds


Companies implement customer relationship management (CRM) systems to give them visibility into their customers, including the oft-hyped “360-degree view of customers.” But all too often, the CRM systems are not delivering the insights they were promised, according to a new Forrester report commissioned by Odaseva.

According to Forrester’s report, titled “State of Enterprise CRM Data Management: 2021,” 47% of enterprises state they can’t rely on their CRM data to provide a single source of truth regarding customer data. The report also found 44% of enterprise are unable to perform advanced customer analytics with CRM data, while 40% are unable to use CRM data to drive improved personalization. The report was based on an August survey of 163 business and IT leaders at companies in the US, EMEA, and APAC with annual revenues above $300 million.

“Clearly, for too many companies, the hype about data-driven decision-making is not being matched by reality,” Odaseva says.

The source of the problem, according to Forrester’s report, is a lack of the “basic foundations of data management.” The report found that 78% of enterprises report gaps in their data management that prevent them taking full advantage of their data. while 64% said they find it challenging to actually move CRM data to platforms where it could be valuably used.

The need to secure data and lower the enterprises’ risk of a security breach is the number one factor limiting enterprises from getting value out of their data, the report found, followed by real-time data and time-series data. This was true for companies that use a federated and a centralized approach to data management.

(Source: Forrester report “State of Enterprise CRM Data Management: 2021”)

Deciding which level of security and privacy is appropriate is the primary data challenge facing 55% of the CRM users surveyed by Forrester. “Based on broader Forrester research, the main driver for this is reducing organization risk, which overly restricts the use of data,” Forrester writes in the report.

Interestingly, CRM-using enterprises that use a distributed approach to managing data did not report the same level of difficulty from security. Instead, data integration was the number one limiting factor from getting value, followed by data volumes.

Overall, the lack of insight emanating from CRM systems is a real concern for the users of these systems, according to Odaseva CEO and founder Sovan Bin.

“More than three-quarters of large enterprises admit that they’re lacking fundamentals in data management, and this is preventing them from unlocking the full value of their CRM data,” Bin stated in a press release. “And yet, most enterprises–64%–expect that the number one benefit of CRM data is an improved customer experience. There’s a clear disconnect here – and it must be addressed by rethinking data strategies, so CRM data becomes useful and actionable.”

Bin also said that it’s “essential” that greater efforts should be made to boost data literacy in business and technical domains. “Organizations must invest in data security and protection, while ensuring continuous value through data continuity,” he said.

You can access the report here.

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