MarTech Interview with Chris Hyde, SVP Global Head of Data Solutions at Validity

Chris Hyde, SVP Global Head of Data Solutions at Validity, discusses the launch of DemandTools File edition, its impact, and its importance on data quality in this exclusive interview with MarTech Cube.
MarTech Interview

Chris, can you tell us about the recent launch of the DemandTools File edition and how it improves data quality within organizations?

This past month at Validity, we announced the launch of DemandTools File edition to improve data quality across the entire organization and manage duplicates within spreadsheets in minutes. DemandTools File edition merges duplicate rows in spreadsheets or csv files to ensure customers are working with accurate, report-ready data without losing valuable information. So now, even any business or user can add efficiency and accuracy to their processes that rely on clean data. While this is important at any moment in time, we believe it’s particularly paramount to business success in today’s competitive and turbulent economic market.

What are the key features and functionalities of the DemandTools File edition that make it unique compared to existing tools?

Great question.
i. Users can define the matching and merging criteria to ensure accuracy. Unlike existing tools, it has the ability to match on more than one column using exact and fuzzy matching logic, a large array of matching algorithms, and to combine values in columns when merging duplicate rows.
ii. DemandTools File will also export the found duplicates to a new sheet to show what was identified, export the merged data set to a new sheet to display the cleaned information, and keep the original data intact, all in one time-saving process.

Can you explain the matching and merging criteria that users can define in DemandTools File edition? How does it contribute to data accuracy?

Data accuracy is imperative to all functions of the business – and deduplicating data is a necessary part of any data accuracy initiative.
DemandTools File Edition has a plethora of configurable comparison types which provide capabilities way beyond exact matching, 
a couple of common examples are:
i. Cleaned Account Name: Provides the capability to match company names despite how they are written. (HP / Hewlett Packard / HP Inc. / Hewlett Packard Corp. etc)
ii. Country Match: Matches long form and short form country names. (GB / GBR / UK / United Kingdom)
iii. Relaxed Address Matching: Ensures short form and long form addresses match. (Apt 1, 5 Acacia Ave / 5 acacia Avenue)
iv. RegEx matching: Match any data in any format using regular expressions

With the power of DemandTools comparison types and the ability to match both within and across columns, businesses can be certain to be working with clean, standardised, duplicate free data.

What benefits does the DemandTools File edition bring to marketing teams and business analysts who rely on spreadsheets for data analysis?

Anyone who uses spreadsheets to track information or analyze data will work more efficiently and confidently knowing they are working with unique data. For example, marketing teams can now deduplicate their external lists in real time before moving the data into their CRM system or Marketing Automation Platform, and business analysts can conduct their own data quality assurance and trust they are running analytics on unique datasets. Ultimately, this saves companies valuable time and money.

What motivated Validity to expand the reach of DemandTools to a broader range of businesses and applications with the File edition?

For over twenty years, we have served critical industry deduplication needs within the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ecosystem with our pillar product, DemandTools. Now, we want to reach even more businesses and give them the opportunity to add efficiency and accuracy to their processes that rely on clean data.

While this launch was always in our 2023 docket, we released it with an increased sense of urgency due to the economic turbulence. We knew that this product would give users the break they needed in challenging times.

What kind of economic turbulence or challenges are businesses currently facing that make a tool like DemandTools File edition more important than ever? How does the DemandTools File edition align with Validity’s mission of empowering companies to market, sell, and support more effectively?

Poor data quality costs businesses time and money and jeopardizes the customer experience. We want to help companies avoid that and ensure they are empowered to market, sell, and support more effectively. Given the economic uncertainty we are experiencing globally, this tool is critical to allow businesses to set themselves up for success and work with clean data that can provide them with the results they need.

When a business has accurate data about its customers, it can serve them better and improve overall brand reputation and value. This ultimately results in more accurate business reporting, better ROI on marketing campaigns, and improved sales productivity. Unfortunately, when a business has inaccurate data on customers, it can hurt sales outcomes and even damage the customer relationship.

What impact do poor data quality and duplicates have on businesses, both in terms of time and money, as well as customer experience? Could you share some insights from the survey performed by Validity on the revenue loss due to low-quality CRM data?

Absolutely. Not only does poor data quality waste resources, it also jeopardizes the customer experience. In fact, according to a report performed by Validity, 44% of respondents say they lose over 10% in annual revenue due to low-quality CRM data. Some of our other key takeaways include:
i. 66% of companies report duplicate data is marketing’s biggest obstacle when pulling campaign lists.
ii. 73% of companies say duplicate data is marketing’s biggest obstacle when evaluating campaign performance.
iii. Companies report poor-quality data costs them existing customers (57%), new sales (50%), and high-quality employees (44%).

How does the DemandTools File edition integrate with existing CRM systems or Marketing Automation Platforms?

With DemandTools File Edition, we made a conscious decision to initially not integrate into a number of systems but provide sophisticated deduplication for everyone. The vast majority of business systems can Export/Import spreadsheets and many business processes require data to be exported from one system to be manipulated and then imported to another. The transport medium in all of these cases is spreadsheets.

That said however, we are actively encouraging our customers to let us know which systems they are exporting from and importing to so we can look at future possibilities to integrate DemandTools into some of the most popular, or those where we might offer the most value to our customers.

*Please add any additional information that we might have missed and that you would like to share!

It’s not just the current economic climate that we should be noticing right now, it’s the incredible pace of AI adoption. While this is integral to business progress, we cannot forget the fundamentals: what you input will have huge impacts on the output. Humans possess a unique ability to see if something is amiss in the data they are looking at – spotting anomalies and identifying a potential source of the error. It goes without saying, but AI tools do not have that human experience or context, so if the source data is inaccurate, it will make decisions based on that data. It is therefore imperative that we take measured steps to ensure data is accurate before bringing in AI for assistance.

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Chris Hyde, SVP Global Head of Data Solutions at Validity

As Senior Vice President and Global Head of Data Solutions at Validity, Chris Hyde is responsible for executive direction, roadmap, and overall management of Validity’s data solutions. He works closely with industry operators, customers, and data analytics to drive an informed product strategy. Chris brings 25+ years experience as an individual contributor and leader in Pre-Sales, Product, and Customer Success roles across multiple startup and large enterprise software companies. LinkedIn.
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