The State of Data Onboarding 2020

Based on a survey across the worldwide Customer Success community, Flatfile has presented a Report entitled “2020 State of Data Onboarding.”  CS professionals have long recognized the crucial importance of the onboarding process in maintaining and expanding successful customer relationships.  The key piece in that process is data onboarding, the migration of customer data into an application.  The Report examines the current state of data onboarding.

Who Owns Data Onboarding?

Danger - Expectations signWho is responsible for overcoming the challenges of data onboarding?  Customer Support?  Dev/Engineering? Customer Success?  Implementation? The Customers?  In many companies, the accurate answer is: “All of the above” and/or “It depends.”  60 percent of survey responders identified themselves as being in a “customer-facing” function.  The remainder were in “product-facing” roles.  However, there is no question about the impact on the customer-company relationship if the job isn’t done well, and those impacts can be long lived.  While effective project leadership is vital, data onboarding is an all-hands responsibility.

“Anybody who has ever worked through a major data migration project will do just about anything to avoid ever having to be involved in another one…”  A survivor

Does the Need for Data Onboarding Ever Go Away?

Again, the answer will vary by application — but generally speaking, data onboarding will be a continual challenge.  More than half of the respondents reported that customer data was being imported more than once a day.

“There are two kinds of people in Customer Success: Those who tell the truth about how bad the data problem is, and those who don’t.”  Anonymous

How Often do Data Onboarding Issues Occur?

Line of blocks of increasing size with broken blocks at end18% of respondents said that they encountered issues on rarely, and 4% said that they never had problems.  Several very senior players in the Customer Success Technology space have noted in various ways over the years that data quality problems were a constant threat.  Inconsistent data formatting, insufficient data validation, access issues, sheer volume, column-matching — the list of potential and real vulnerabilities is long.  The picture gets even worse for those for whom data onboarding is a continual activity.

What Can Be Done?

The survey Report identifies several steps that can be taken to mitigate the data onboarding challenges.  To download the Report, click the link below.  You must be logged in as at least an Associate/free member of the Customer Success Association in order to access the link.

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