Clue Me In, Please
Ahh, yes. You've been introduced to the mystical world of Data Hoarding.
It was back in the mid 1980s when I was first thrust into its grasp, back in the days of room-sized mainframes, R2D2-sized hard disk drives with storage capacity topping out at 200mb, and the all-important reel-to-reel tape storage system that was the affordable option for most data centers. So important and prevalent were those reel-to-reel tapes that they required a dedicated library room, complete with a complicated filing system and dedicated Tape Librarians to keep track of it all.
The chief librarian is pacing the hall outside my office when I arrive—never a good sign to start the day—with the news that, while selecting the tapes and disks required for that day's production schedule, he discovered that the year-to-date transaction tape for one of our clients is missing. And the search begins. Row by row, we search the library, the computer room, anywhere that it could have been misfiled. But no such luck. I have the offsite storage facility search their inventory, as well. But it isn't there. Next, I head over to see the account team for suggestions, only to find that the production manager for that client is on vacation. This being in the days before cell phones, he is unreachable, camping in one of the great National Parks. Escalating next, we head over to the office of the vice president for guidance and then up the chain of command until we are sitting in the CEO's office, trying to decide if we call the client, or if there's another possible solution. Picking up his phone, the CEO calls an old classmate in Washington D.C. and, within minutes, we are conferenced in with the main Ranger office at the Park where our colleague is camping. To this day, I still don't know how they did it, but within a couple of hours the Rangers have located him in the wilderness, drove him back to the office, where he calls to let us know that that the missing tape is in the lower left drawer of his desk … "So that it would not accidently get erased."
Vince Pickett has 30 years of direct marketing data management expertise across multiple channels and industry verticals, utilizing a wide variety of management and analytic tools for both B-to-B and B-to-C success. Pickett has seen award-winning excellence and the good, the bad and the ugliest of practices used by clients where he and his teams have built or come to the rescue of client organizations. In his career with several service provider companies or as an independent consultant, Pickett advocates for clients to maintain the highest standards of complete and accurate information for every customer, prospect or lead being maintained within the marketing database. Above all else, clean data provides every marketer with the foundation needed to segment accurately for the most efficient programs that provide the greatest ROI.
This blog will look at recent findings, review the latest breakthroughs, ask questions about topics of debate and talk with industry leaders about what is on their minds. It will also, as the title suggests, keep things not quite so serious all the time.
Contact Pickett by email at email@example.com or follow on him on Twitter at @vbpickett.