Where is most of our data?
I have worked in electronic document management my entire life. Most data unfortunately is locked away!
As a SharePoint consultant for the past 13 years, I have seen how companies store documentation and the useful data within and how they use documentation everyday. Despite the wealth of cloud based file sharing systems, most companies sit with a large file share of documents which becomes unmanageable, unsortable and unsearchable very quickly.
For other cases, the data stuck inside these documents is stored within systems. But like many software provider offerings, its usually trapped inside these systems, unable to mix with other data.
The first and most common example is that of the CRM. Many businesses over time end up with various customer systems. In fact, at a large telco I previous worked at, they could count 21 customer management systems across their online and offline offerings. A lot of businesses will receive leads across a variety of mediums (phone, online, word of mouth) and there are some great tools to capture that information. However marrying that data into one main CRM like Salesforce for instance usually is a larger problem to solve.
Another example for smaller businesses may be the following: You may run an online shop together with a string of physical outlets too. Customer details may exist in Shopify, your online provider, and another POS system which exists across your physical stores. Your customers have a set of behaviours (eg buying products) which exist as a set of transactions both in your POS system as well as your online Shopify store.
Having one view of your customer (and their data) across all of your systems would make your view of the customer powerful (you can market to them more individually if you understand all their purchasing behaviour)
Moving data between systems
Most of the time, the only way to make your customer data powerful, is to hire a developer to synchronise data between systems. But as you know, the costs for this route can really mount up. Especially now as small business, and increasingly larger businesses, move to a multi-system SAAS model where important customer data is spread over multiple systems. Keeping these multiple systems in sync, even with a full-time developer, becomes a costly job.
There are a few options to help out in this scenario. Companies like Zapier and CloudPipes have cropped up to assist companies to move data between various systems. Through triggers and actions, Zapier allows companies to act on a trigger with various actions. For instance:
- Extracting data to Salesforce
Trigger: new customer in Shopify
Action: add them to Salesforce
2. Extracting data from Excel
Trigger: receive a new excel report via email
Action: add it to google sheets.
Another option that most systems provide is to receive email alerts (eg SharePoint and Office 365 when a new file is uploaded or WordPress when you receive an email enquiry) or manually exporting data via CSV and Excel.
Here at Parserr we help a number of businesses automate their contact enquiry workflows by syncing those enquiry emails from WordPress and syncing them directly to their CRM:
Another common requirement from our customers is extracting information from documents and forms. For instance we can extract an Excel sheet of customers in Shopify and synchronise them to Salesforce.
Increasingly there are more ways to free your data and make it work for you. To automate manual data entry between internal systems, increase efficiency and accuracy as well cut internal costs. This holds true for not only the data flow between internal systems, but also data flow between you and those companies you work with everyday.
Moving data between companies
Many companies use Parserr everyday to automate data flow between themselves and their suppliers and buyers. This is where Parserr really plays a huge role.
Because of security and system constraints, modern day systems tend not to communicate between companies except via email and other related documents (eg email attachments like PDFs and Excel documents)
Everyday Parserr scans hundreds of purchase orders which flow into various systems like Xero or other inventory management systems. Because purchase orders often contain important information such as the items delivered and dates, processing this information accurately is most important to thriving business.
Another area we are able to help businesses is with manual forms processing. Schools and other education providers process many PDF forms every year from potential candidates. Entering this data into education provider software is not only tedious, but also time consuming.
In a world that is increasingly about more time everyday, isn’t it time you automated your manual tasks and ensured the accuracy and future of your business?