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In-house vs. Outsourced Data Management: Which is Right for You?

By: Gui Costin, Founder, CEO

Did you know that 65% of people's job titles change every year? That number is staggering, but if you’re an investment sales professional, it probably doesn't come as too much of a surprise to you. One of the hardest parts of any sales person’s job is calling on the right people and setting up meetings. 

Your job is only made harder when you’re working with outdated data, showing people who have changed jobs, titles, and phone numbers since you last interacted with them. 

A CRM is a powerful tool, but it’s only as good as the data within it. So, the question becomes, how do you best maintain your data?

You have a couple of options. Do you attempt to do it yourself, either building it into your sales team’s process or by hiring a database administrator? Or, do you outsource it by hiring a third party? 

It all depends on the needs of your team. 

Because Dakota is a database provider, we know the ins and outs of the space, and just how much time goes into ensuring everything is as updated as possible. But we know what you might be thinking: of course we’ll tell you that the best way forward is a third party, it’s what we do, after all. But that’s not the case; we know that not every company has the same size data, team, or budget.

In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of keeping your data in-house versus hiring an outside, third party to keep up with it for you. 

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to decide which is best for your team, so that your data is as up to date as possible.

Third party data maintenance options

When it comes to third parties, you can go in a few different ways. You can get your data directly from an outside source (database subscription) and import it into your CRM or use an outsourced database administrator. 

  • A database subscription: You pay a yearly subscription fee in exchange for access to a database of accounts and contacts within the investment industry. These are specialized to fit the needs of the industry, and come in a variety of sizes, from hundreds of thousands of accounts and contacts, to a more scaled down list. Depending on the database your team chooses, you still might need to verify the data to ensure accuracy.
  • A database administration system: These are software options that will help ensure that your data is as up to date as possible. These types of systems, offered by companies like Oracle, SentryOne, and Redgate, are often designed to complement your data team, rather than act as a single solution to data upkeep. 

Next, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of third party data management.

The benefits of third party data management

  • Greater efficiency: At the end of the day, outsourcing your data and data management is going to save you and your team time. Instead of hunting for information on who to call, it’s already at your fingertips and ready to use. This allows your sales team to get to work making calls and setting meetings, which leads to more deals closed.
  • Access to large quantities of data: A third party database is able to pull a large amount of data in a short amount of time. This means your team will have access to a ton of information without spending hours of time researching it first. Databases are especially beneficial for large projects, or for when a company is trying to get a sense of a new industry or market. 

The drawbacks of third party data management

  • Your data can get stale: If you’re getting your data from a third party source or relying strictly on the industry, your data can get stale, leading to outdated contact information. Instead you need to find and update contact information yourself, or update and build relationships with people, allowing you to keep it updated with minimal effort.
  • The data isn’t always accurate: If you’re getting data from a third party, there is no guarantee that it will be one hundred percent correct. This could mean the need for human intervention and double checking data received, or working with the third party database administration system to oversee that it is correct.

In-house data management

The benefits of in-house data management

  • Real-time updates: Having a dedicated person or team within your organization means having a dedicated resource to focus on cleaning up your data, so it will always be as accurate as possible. With a third party or software, there could be delays, especially if you are working with a large data set. In an industry where data can get stale very quickly, this can be a major downside that may sway you to keep things in-house.
  • Dedication and trust: Having someone who understands the needs and goals of your business and can be focused on them adds a layer of trust to the process that may not exist with third party resources. 

The drawbacks of in-house data management

  • It can be time consuming: It is a very time-intensive process to go through all of your data each day and ensure that it’s updated and accurate. Depending on the size of your data team, you might not be able to update as much information in bulk as a third party source or system would. 

So, which is right for you?

This ultimately depends how specialized you and your company are. 

If you’re looking for a broad amount of accounts and contacts, then a third party data source would be better. 

If you’re more specialized in a specific channel, (RIA, Consultants, etc.) then updating data in-house, or subscribing to a smaller, more manageable database would be best because it’s more specific and constantly updated. 

A good middle ground is subscribing to a database and employing an internal data team to maintain it, so that you are constantly being given a new set of data that is updated and accurate. 

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