Data has a lifespan: it is created; it lives; it is retired. It is rarely all retired at the same time. This is the advantage of digital technology, which knows how to recycle it. However, it doesn’t do this any old way: it does this with a sense of organisation. It comes full circle, which is what we’re going to talk about here: the data lifecycle.
It is unimaginable not to consider using a computer, tablet or smartphone within a company. By reading this article, you are already accessing data. The conception of data begins with the use of a digital document, such as this one, that will be stored in a folder or emailed to a colleague who will also classify it or temporarily or permanently delete it. The data lifecycle begins with general organisation. What software and hardware tools do you use to deal with data? Who is accessing the data? How is the data valued? How is it indexed? How is it saved? What are the filing criteria? What data and why? This is an extensive routine that applies to all companies.
The main concern for companies – notably the CIO or service provider – is to develop the data according to its current value and its value on a time scale. This value can be immediately low, for example, if you meet a lead at a trade show, whereas the value brought from an initial conversation/analysis of needs will deliver a quote, which transforms the data into a hot lead. Then it has two possible states: either there is an order and the lead suddenly becomes a very important client; or the data will remain part of the lead business qualification process until there is a status provided for it… or not. As long as the lead doesn’t disappear and there is still potentially a lead to follow, a file will be retained since there was an initial quote. It is important to retain this quote for several months, as long as the range of services remains the same, as it would be a shame to have to redo a partial or entire quote which has already been made. Additionally, above all, the idea of the rate applied during the first quote demonstrates the value that has resulted in the lead becoming a client.
In a first analysis, we can see an overall number of steps of business activity carried out on a single lead. The data is very much alive and it needs to be carefully managed, especially if there are several businesses that require fixed payment every month. Businesses are manufacturers of data that is used to follow-up with the client after the first delivery so that a history is created. The client history should remain very much alive for the 2 to 3 years that follow and then be stored in an archive. The lead history should remain in an interactive marketing database.
In order for this to work, the IT tool should incorporate procedures to ensure data integrity, including the addition of new services, application updates or replacements. The data lifecycle is a production chain that needs to be managed from A to Z.