Fundamental knowledge on how to maintain, improve, and measure your Eloqua database

December 11, 2020 David Huml

Disclaimer: While this blog discusses how to enhance your database using different data tools in Eloqua specifically, much of the information here is mostly applicable to other databases, marketing automation platforms, and CRM systems beyond Eloqua as well.

The four Cs of data hygiene and management

Working with several Eloqua clients, I find that ownership over the database is often missing. Companies don’t tend to dedicate specific roles for “super admins”, especially when they’re working with limited resources. And while there is usually a senior person or two who know quite a lot about their company’s database or instance, these people don’t typically take long-term responsibility over data strategy, maintenance, or best practices.

As IT and data systems become increasingly complex and interconnected with several data sources, it can be hard to keep data 4C compliant. However, it is critical to be:

  • consistent;
  • complete;
  • current; and
  • correct.

If we don’t adhere to basic data hygiene, we can’t properly or effectively run marketing initiatives – whether it’s to do with segmentation, personalization, lead scoring, lead routing, reporting, or whatever else.

If you’re an Eloqua user, you can initiate first step right now. You don’t need expensive tools or training; start with what comes “in the box” of your basic Eloqua subscription.

Three areas to start with for your Eloqua database analysis

First things first: Understand the current state of your database. If you are starting from scratch, evaluate basic metrics and get a good grasp of the following:

  • Data sources. Where is your data coming from? Do you have a bullet-proof process for all of them?
    • Manual Upload
    • Forms
    • Integration
    • FTP Import
  • Data audit. What can you say about the database?
    • Objects in use
    • Fields - both in use and that are not used
    • Data completeness
  • Integration. Are there any recurring errors? Fix them!

Make a quick drawing or diagram, document all your finding. Remember, this is just the beginning, based on your resources you can always go deeper.

Four Eloqua data tools to leverage out of the box

Out of the box, your Eloqua subscription has access to several tools to get you started.

  • Field population details. This is my personal favorite feature in Eloqua. It allows you to quickly access and see how your field is populated (up to 1000 different values). You can focus on unstandardized values and investigate their source, export them, or build a lookup table for them.

    Field Population Details

  • Data tools. There are several tools available, but in the beginning it’s a good idea to focus only on mastering lookup tables and updating how rules work. These are key steps to developing and executing your data cleansing program.

    Update Rule Lookup Table

  • Contact washing machine app. This is a funny-sounding term, but it represents quite an advanced Eloqua program canvas step. It allows you to do several string manipulation operations, starting with proper case functions and ending with regular expressions replace steps.
  • Insight reports. There are two report types that are available right away: “Contact field value” and “contact field completeness”. Although their use is limited, it’s a great place to start. You’ll probably expand on this manually outside of the platform.

    Update Rule

How to implement a basic lookup table in Eloqua (demo)

The MIM method for data maintenance

After you’ve gone through what could have been a bit of a painful process of accessing your database’s current state, it’s time to accept what your database is lacking and fix it.

Remember “MIM”:

  1. Maintain
  2. Improve
  3. Measure

Set up SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals around your data initiatives and regularly update them. Observe a regular data score which reflects the completeness of your fields.

The three database commandments

  • Your database must have a dedicated admin with a solid sense of data-ownership and a macro-overview of the database
  • You must have a cleansing or “contact washing machine” program in place
  • You must maintain your data hygiene with ongoing processes

Are these commandments already in your daily routine? Do you think I missed out on anything? I’d love to hear your ideas with on how to quickly kickstart a data strategy.

And if you need help with any of it, You can always reach out to me or our team at LeadFabric.

About the Author

David Huml

Rocking in Eloqua & Marketo instances since 2012.

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