3 Things Your Ops Pros Aren’t Telling You

No matter what your job is, what department you are a part of, or even how far along in your career you are, you like data. (Even if you don't know it.) Data influences everything from stats in sales calls to financial forecasts. But the data all comes from somewhere, and it's often your operations professionals who handle it (especially customer data). And there's something they're not telling you...
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Erika Jarvi
October 20, 2021 . 5 min read

“My day rarely goes as planned.”

Fun fact: the data you know and love in your GTM systems doesn’t just spring to life all nice, shiny, and clean. Your ops pros are the ones making it that way, and it takes time.

Every time someone hands an ops team spreadsheets to clean, import, or export, their day gets tougher. When something breaks from a “small tweak to Salesforce”, another planned project has to get reprioritized. Additionally, because ops pros support the entire organization, the cascading effect from something out of order — a new marketing campaign “shows up” or is delayed, for instance — easily snowballs.

Your ops pros want to enable you and the business. But between manually managing the data you’re giving them in spreadsheets, ensuring you’re not breaking compliance laws with how you’re obtaining and using data, fixing your necessary systems on a daily basis, and other equally as time-consuming and cumbersome tasks, they’re drowning! There are simply not enough hours in the day for all the things currently on their plate. And more is added every day.

Here’s a peek at the common troubles facing ops pros today:

A Day in the Life of an Ops Pro: Accessing Data

It feels like the last quarterly business review (QBR) was just yesterday, but your calendar alert doesn’t lie: it’s quarter close already.

As an operations professional, QBRs mean your already-overloaded schedule gets even busier from all the requests coming in from other teams. Sales needs updated info in the CRM to create reports — where leads came from, their progress in the funnel, churn rates, renewals, bookings — you name it, they want it.

Other teams also start sending in requests. Marketing needs to know how much they contributed to the company’s growth. Finance wants to know where the data is so they can present actual numbers vs. the plan, plus a forecast for the next quarter.

It wouldn’t be as heavy a burden if you had access to all the data needed. Instead, you’re stuck with countless spreadsheets and CSVs, manually importing and exporting data from and to the CRM, marketing automation platform (MAP), customer experience platform (XP), and more.

And if one more person says to just push it all into the CRM, you may just call it quits. No matter how many times you try to explain that it wasn’t built to be a single source of truth — and they need data to be in their own systems, anyway, not in just one place — they always seem to forget.

Time to make another pot of coffee. It’s going to be a long week.

“I don’t have time to be strategic.”

Two of the many constants in business are: first, the goal of growth, and second, the struggle to be proactive. Of course, organizations must react to the world around them and changing situations. But if the business is to grow, it must be proactive in its path to growth.

Here’s the rub: moving from reactive to proactive requires the time to sit, think, and not be buried in the menial tasks. Scaling the business doesn’t happen if it doesn’t start off on the right foot, and the right infrastructure is key. This doesn’t mean just tech or software, it also means the right processes and strategy to make all data easily accessible and manipulable.

The problem?

For your business to grow, you must give your ops pros time to deep dive into data. But here’s a peek at how our earlier story usually ends up continuing today:

A Day in the Life of an Ops Pro: Managing Data

Your company’s QBR is only a couple of days away now, and you’ve been furiously working through the requests made of you and your fellow operations professionals for clean data. While the manual import/export process is never really done, you’re at least now able to get to the more interesting part of your job: analyzing data.

Well, you would be if you didn’t just notice there are two vendor records with the same ID that have different physical addresses in the spreadsheet you just uploaded to the accounting platform. Oh, and it looks like that “tiny” change to your CRM broke the integration between it and your MAP. As you hear yet another notification of a new email in your inbox, one of your team members informs you of an email that Marketing sent out to the registered attendees of your company’s upcoming user conference with a discounted ticket offer.

Time to grab your digital fire extinguisher and put analysis on hold. Again.

“My hard work gets corrupted or isn’t trusted.”

Last week, we wrote about the dangers of needing things now. Many times, especially when there is an immovable target in mind — such as a QBR — impatience leads to issues and the same is particularly true where it concerns data. It’s rare to find that data matches across the organization. In fact, when we asked in a recent survey, 9 in 10 respondents didn’t completely trust that the data they access in their systems matches data in others.

Unfortunately, the combination of impatience and lack of matching data means situations like these happen more often than not:

A Day in the Life of an Ops Pro: Data Matching

It’s finally the day of the QBR and, while your stash of coffee grounds is depleted, you were able to get through the requests for data needed to present today. Your life as an ops pro never has a dull day, but you’re particularly nervous/excited to see the fruits of your labor shine in today’s presentation.

Sales is first, who got 106% of their quarterly goals. Awesome! But then they tout they sourced 80% of the pipeline and your Head of Marketing looks confused. Oh no.

Over the course of the day, you (and the rest of the company) hear 3 separate reports for which department was most valuable to the company, 2 different forecasts for revenue growth, and four completely distinct methods for how last quarter’s results were obtained.

Turns out, even after all your work to clean, dedupe, and unify data, somebody somewhere looked up new, inaccurate information in their department’s systems and used it for their presentation. Perhaps if they had listened to you about a better way to manage corporate data through distributed truth, this wouldn’t have happened.

Time to order more coffee. It’s going to be a long quarter.

Chaotic data is an organization-wide problem

The fact is: ops pros are drowning. But it’s not the only problem with data today. In a recent survey we conducted with our friends at RevGenius, we found 3 themes that are the reasons why organizations are ignoring their chaotic company data.

Download the report for yourself and learn more about the multitude of reasons why chaotic data is such a problem, and how you can fix it.

Written by Erika Jarvi
Erika is the Director of Content & Community at Syncari. She has more than a decade of experience in brand & content and is passionate about education in all its forms.

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