Automating Data Updates in your CRM System: How to Successfully Tackle Junk Data

12 Oct 2019

Data becomes obsolete – and much faster than you think. Companies relocate, open new branches, have new CEOs, decision-makers, etc. The challenge is to integrate all of these changes into your CRM system – ideally in a live update. In this article, we explain the options available and why automation is the best solution in the long term. 

Every month, 2% of Master Data becomes obsolete. This means that by the end of the year, at least a quarter of all data is no longer accurate. Incorrect Master Data causes huge problems. It prevents a targeted, personalised approach for customers and prospects, creates unnecessary financial risk and hampers employee productivity. 

There are various methods of keeping Master Data up-to-date. Adding changes manually is definitely not one of them. If there are a lot of records, it is simply impossible to maintain them all manually. In Switzerland alone there are hundreds of changes in the B2B sector every day – that’s more than a quarter of a million over the course of a year. Manual updates? They’re nothing but a pipe dream.   

The number of changes captured by Dun & Bradstreet Switzerland every day. 


How to keep your Master Data up-to-date 

There are two ways of keeping the data in your CRM system up-to-date. 

1. Offline 

For a detailed description of how this works, see our guide “Modern Data Management

In a nutshell, if your Master Data is no longer current and contains gaps, Dun & Bradstreet can fix it. This involves matching, updating incorrect data and adding missing information. This process also eliminates duplicates in your data. In the second step, you can also enrich your data by adding industry codes, turnover, number of employees, etc. as well as current risk indicators. 

This process of data cleaning and enrichment takes place periodically – at monthly, quarterly or yearly intervals depending on the company, industry and scope of the data. 

2. Automation 

The big advantage of automation over offline is that data is always current and complete, which means that there is no need for recurring data projects. 

With this method, you use an interface to connect your CRM system to the Dun & Bradstreet data universe or, for global coverage, to a Dun & Bradstreet database. All changes are incorporated into your data automatically. This is a particularly efficient option, for example when a member of your Sales team is entering data for a new customer on site. Instead of having to painstakingly fill in all the fields manually, they can retrieve the required data in seconds via the interface. This ensures that the data is not only correct, but also complete and consistent. 

For a clear and comprehensive overview of data updates and automation, download our free infographic. 

Automation in your CRM system

Automation in your CRM system

Download our free infographic.


Automation solves your business cases 

The automation of data updates is not merely an end in itself, however, and your IT Manager can still say that they have installed an API. Automation solves real problems in the business world, making extremely laborious, time-consuming processes more simple and convenient. 

Below we describe two specific cases by way of example, one in the area of compliance and the other in risk management. 


Compliance Managers must comply with rules and laws. This requires the meticulous checking of all business partners. The problem lies in the fact that Compliance departments have to wade through enormous volumes of data in order to uncover violations. Interfaces make it possible to systematically and comprehensively automate the entire compliance check. 

Risk management 

Interfaces and access to current data also help to avoid bad or unsafe transactions. Parcel service provider DPD provides its sales force with the current risk indicator for every Swiss company through its CRM system. Sales representatives can thus see the credit rating of a potential customer. If it is in the green range, the sales representative approves the deal on site. If not, the deal is submitted to the Finance department for a detailed review.