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How to Create a Consistent Data Structure
By Alessandra Ceresa
Data is all around. We collect it left and right. We use it daily, it drives important business decisions, and helps us connect deeper with our customers. Yet, data is oftentimes the antagonist in an organization, driving departmental silos if it’s not collected, managed, and distributed properly.
Do you remember the days when marketing was marketing, sales was just sales, and customer service was just customer service? Organizations used to function in silos. No departments collaborated, leaving a lot to be wondered amongst disparate teams. When a business lives in silos, it becomes very difficult to understand who your customers are, how your efforts are working, and whether your clients are happy. Each department has a unique role in serving a customer, which enables one team to connect in a different way than the other. Innovation, growth and success stems from collaborative teams making decisions based on data collected from each department. Technology has allowed us to destroy the silos to become much more productive (and happier) teams.
Leadership from the Top Down
Embracing data stems from the top down within an organization. If data is not considered an important asset at the top, collecting, managing and using data will be ineffective, if even expected, at the bottom. However, this is detrimental to any modern business. Data drives good business decisions and gives us the upper hand when developing strategies that contribute to growth. A vision that doesn’t support the use of data is more like a lack of vision than anything.
Integrated CRM/Marketing Automation/Customer Service/Events
A single picture of the customer is critical if you plan on targeting them effectively. Having multiple disparate systems that don’t talk to one another is keeping you from obtaining that holistic view you need to make sense of all the data. When your sales, marketing, and customer service data flows in through the same dashboard, you automatically have a single, easy to read customer profile. Not to mention, each department can be given the appropriate access to input, manage and view the data they need to get the job done faster, and more importantly, better.
Consistent Data is Usable Data
What’s the point of having so much data if you can’t use it? You’re wasting valuable resources if you aren’t integrating your data. Marketing needs access to both customer service and sales data, while sales needs access to marketing data and customer service data. The more information marketers have about the leads and customers, the better they can target their messaging - making lead generation and nurturing more FAR more effective. Think about the money and time you waste just blasting out general messaging. There is too much competition out there to not use data correctly, in fact, if used poorly, it can ruin your customer experience.
Steps for Creating a Consistent Data Structure: