Data Centralization in Marketing

Data analytics is the driving force behind marketing performance and customer relationships for many organizations across a wide variety of industries. 

This complex field requires individuals from various teams to work together in a dynamic environment, leveraging high-tech tools and software solutions to achieve their goals.

Unfortunately, this can lead to problems — when we use fragmented data to make marketing decisions, we can end up with a muddled image, leading to faulty conclusions. The customer insights that the organization is looking to acquire through data analytics are thus negatively affected.

The most effective course of action in combating this issue is to develop a standard procedure ensuring that data from multiple sources doesn’t get fragmented. One way to do this is to compile all the data into a single source.

What is a Single Source of Truth and Why is It Helpful?

A single source of data, also referred to as a Single Source of Truth, combines data from various sources into a single place for all the employees and relevant personnel to reach quickly and effectively. This helps any organization improve its overall customer and marketing insight, ultimately boosting the customer experience it can provide.

This post will give you a more detailed understanding of what it takes to build a single data source and how exactly it can affect your marketing performance. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, read on!

Generating More Efficient Sales Through a Personalized Customer Experience

As we explained above, a single source of truth is a database formed by aggregating data from many sources in a shared location, giving all teams within an organization a birds-eye view of all the available information. This helps teams make strategic decisions and gives them the necessary customer insights.

This ultimately enables teams to work together more efficiently, providing a personalized customer experience and thus generating more sales. A high-quality single data source should encompass the following four parameters:

  • Certified Customer List — A holistic view of all the customer data within an organization, providing a single point of access and allowing team members to take full advantage of unified data.
  • Authority Over the System of Record — All changes made to the data on the level of the organization must be completed/updated in the single data source.
  • Incorporation of Business Rules — All rules that govern each set of systems included in the single data source must be incorporated within it to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data and its real-time availability.
  • Ensured Information Efficiency — information is standardized and transformed into an analysis-ready form by removing duplicates and getting rid of outdated and irrelevant data.

How to Create a Single Data Source for All Your Data?

To create a single data source, digital media marketing companies need to identify the data sources available and clean/modify the data as necessary by utilizing the correct tools. Businesses can follow either the Bottom-Up or Top-Down approach to designing a single data source.

The bottom-up approach identifies a common need in the organization and builds a single data source according to this need. This approach is perfect for those situations when there is an urgent need to solve a specific problem.

The top-down approach focuses on creating a data source in accordance with the business’s vision. It requires rigorous IT governance processes to be implemented and incorporated.

Whichever approach is chosen, an organization will need to follow six crucial steps in creating a single data source. They are as follows:

  1. Identifying Data Requirements — Learning to identify data requirements is crucial for an organization to access and use the available data. Businesses must be able to identify, describe and define the data elements they require and employ the correct techniques to clean, modify, and standardize them.
  2. Analyzing Data — To determine domain standards and identify and map the sources of data, businesses must employ data analysis. This maps the data elements to their sources and helps teams determine how to represent and utilize the available data.
  3. Retrieving Data from Various Sources — Retrieving data from different sources and merging processes serves to help teams make more informed decisions based on the data collected. Gathering valuable customer insights and integrating them in an easy-to-access location helps design future strategies.
  4. Planning Integration — This step deals with defining the processes of extraction and transformation of the available data. Logic designed in the previous stage is implemented here, and this is where the development of the actual single data source begins to take place.
  5. Verification and Validation — Once a company completes the development stage, it must verify whether the data adheres and conforms to the certification and acceptance criteria. The incoming data is then certified, and the solutions are verified before implementation.
  6. Solution Deployment — Once everything is validated and verified, it is time to put the single data source to use. In the deployment stage, the data becomes available to the various teams to use, allowing them to extract customer data and utilize it in their day-to-day operations.

Why Is a Single Data Source Beneficial in Marketing?

As we discussed earlier, a single data source gives everyone within the organization a holistic view of the available data. In marketing, this is particularly crucial because of the dynamic nature of the industry and the activities within it.

It is easy for marketers to miss the bigger picture due to inconsistencies in the availability of precise and accurate data, so unifying cross-functional and complex data from various sources can help marketers carry out a thorough and insightful analysis and draw actionable conclusions.

That being said, a single data source is a solution by no means reserved for marketing companies. 

A Chicago web design company can derive just as many benefits from it as a New York marketing agency. The trick is to incorporate the unified repository of information into business processes, help teams better understand the customers, and ultimately, make better decisions.

We should not shy away from the fact that setting up a robust and effective single data source for an organization is no small feat. There are many obstacles and challenges to overcome along the way. 

Still, once it is set up, an effective “single source of truth” can be immensely beneficial to employees and customers alike.

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Carl Fisher

Carl Fisher

CRO and PPC specialist by day and content writer by night, Carl Fisher is a man dedicated to bringing knowledge, information, and advice in front of those who need it. His "specialty areas" include digital marketing, web development, technology, as well as magical realism and sci-fi literature. With more than 6 years in the digital marketing industry, he currently works at SASVIM - a growth company that primarily works with product development teams and tech startups that struggle with growing and monetizing their user base.

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