When working with my channel clients I often hear the term Channel Data Management (CDM) discussed in the context of managing Point-of-Sale (POS) data. POS is certainly an important part of the data you manage. But isn’t CDM broader than that? Don’t we also rely on channel data to:

  • Understand who our partners are and how they interact with us?
  • Classify and segment them so we can understand their capabilities and how best to support and grow our relationship with them?
  • Determine partner eligibility and access to resources and tools?
  • Measure performance to determine which partners are most and least valuable?
  • And if we rely on data to drive these interactions with the channel, don’t we need to have complete, accurate and up-to-date data?

In my opinion, the answer to all of these questions is YES, which points to a broader definition of CDM. There are probably a million ways to define it, but for our purposes, how about this as a starting point: CDM is about creating a 360-degree view of your channel partners and their relationships and interactions with you and the channel.

And if we take that broader definition, then what we really need to do is have a framework for managing channel data. So what are the components that make up this framework?

Components of Channel Data Management

Components of channel data management
  • Channel Data Model: A solid Channel Data Model defines the data and relationships needed to deliver a 360-degree view of your channel
  • Data Quality: The degree to which your data reflects the dimensions of Trust, Accuracy, Completeness, Recency, Conformity, Uniqueness and Frequency
  • Data Management Processes: The business processes by which you capture and maintain your data
  • Data Governance: The metrics, controls and accountabilities around your data that define who does what, when and how
  • Systems & Tools: The systems, technologies and tools that make it all possible

Hopefully this expanded definition of Channel Data Management and the framework I’ve outlined makes sense in the context of managing the data that is foundational to effective management of your channel business.

About the Author: Blending 20+ years of progressive experience in B2B channels, technology, business process design and operations, Dave Hafermann distills these disciplines into a cohesive vision that enables him to deliver best-in-class go-to-market solutions for his clients.

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