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The Practical Gardener – Work Smarter, Not Harder article image

The Practical Gardener – Work Smarter, Not Harder

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Managing InterAction is analogous to gardening in many ways. Both disciplines demand the same level of attention to detail and care in order to achieve the desired results.

Archiving in InterAction: weeding out the bad data

Weeds are plants that grow in areas where they are unwanted, and are flora that gardeners sometimes even unsuspectingly sow, and hence they need to be removed.

Data is similar in nature. Not all data is of equal value to all, and its importance changes with time. A contact who was once key to the firm's strategy may today be of no importance to the business for any number of reasons. So, archiving contacts regularly is akin to weeding. Moving old data into a non-enterprise folder reduces the 'noise' in the InterAction CRM system and ensures that only the most pertinent information is available to users. Access to the right and most current data greatly improves the usability of InterAction for users too.

InterAction IQ: automatic sprinklers

The key to a healthy, green lawn is the right amount of water, at the right time. Also, looking after the lawn isn't merely a summer activity. A well striped, lush green lawn requires year-round attention.

Likewise, ensuring data quality in InterAction requires constant attention. However, the reality is that many InterAction users pay little attention to data quality. Partners aren't especially bothered about entering data in the right way, and secretaries are quite often too stretched to give the activity much thought.

An automatic sprinkler system is required – it comes in the shape of InterAction IQ. This solution mines Microsoft Exchange communications between users and external contracts for relevant email signatures and either creates new contacts or updates existing contacts. It also automatically adds/updates engagement scores in InterAction, based on touchpoints such as emails, meetings and InterAction activities. This means that contact data in InterAction is always kept up to date for those contacts that users are regularly in contact with, without requiring them to actively input this data into the system.

InterAction Data Minder: ground beetles and centipedes

Much to the annoyance of gardeners, garden pests such as slugs and snails, wreak havoc in their carefully tended gardens. Ground beetles and centipedes are therefore needed to prey on garden pests to protect plants and foliage.

In the CRM world, InterAction Data Minder is the beetle/centipede equivalent. This tool ensures that information is always stored in the right format, based on the firm's best practice normalisation rules applied to the way contact information is stored in InterAction. For instance, if the preferred format of the addresses is 'Street' rather than 'St', Data Minder will automatically convert all instances of 'St' to the correct format.

Data Change Management (DCM) Settings: lawnmower service

Lawnmowers, like any piece of equipment, need annual servicing to test for safety and effectiveness, if they are to deliver a beautifully striped lawn year-after-year. The same idea applies to InterAction too. It is good practice for firms to give the data change management (DCM) settings an annual review because as strategy evolves and data requirements change, so should the DCM settings in the system.

The crux is working smarter not harder. InterAction offers excellent functionality to ensure that data is managed as a matter of routine. We'll be discussing these areas in detail at InterAction Share 2017 on 8th June. If you are an InterAction user and haven't registered for the event, here's the link: Hope to see you there!

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

With over 16 years of experience in CRM business consulting, training and data management; Andrew helps professional services firms optimise their investment in LexisNexis InterAction. In addition to providing customised, best practice solutions to meet their varied CRM needs, Andrew is responsible for developing InterAction training courses for users. He also tailors training courses for individual client organisations, as needed.

Andy has worked with over 110 LexisNexis clients, of which he led the InterAction roll out for 30 projects.

Prior to LexisNexis, Andrew gained significant InterAction experience over eight years working at several Accountancy and professional services firms.

Outside of work, he is an avid gardener, loves ‘DIY’ and spending quality time with family and friends in his man cave!

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