Data collection is an essential part of the business. From the moment someone becomes interested in your services or products, long before the actual purchase happens, you start collecting data.
Cloud-based platforms have enabled small businesses to have access to a variety of tools that can help them gather important data.
Collecting a large amount of data is a big challenge but managing this data efficiently presents an even greater challenge.
What is data-driven decision-making?
Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) is defined as using facts, metrics, and data to guide strategic business decisions that align with your goals, objectives, and initiatives. ... Your organization needs to make data-driven decision-making the norm—creating a culture that encourages critical thinking and curiosity. (adapted from tableau.com)
What data-driven decisions can businesses make?
Pivoting the business to match consumer demand
Offering the best customer experience
Introducing new products
Personalizing marketing content
Scaling the business effectively
Channeling the budget
Obstacles of Data Management
1. Overwhelming Amount of Data From Different Sources
According to the 2020 Blissfully Report, the average small business uses 102 different apps and a mid-market business uses an average of 137 apps.
Your marketing team needs at least one tool for lead generation, email marketing, and automation. Meanwhile, your sales team uses a CRM and your accounting team manages your finances with another piece of software. Then there are apps for smooth business operations like GSuite or Outlook, your eCommerce store, surveys platforms, and VoIP.
When you are choosing applications for your SaaS stack, you might choose an all-in-one solution to reduce complexity and connect various data sources to offer a wider scope of customer data. For instance, marketing automation software can take over your lead generation, capture, scoring, and nurturing throughout the customer journey.
Integrated systems or hubs exist for other areas of your business like sales, finance, or eCommerce. But as your business grows, you'll likely adopt more tools on top of them to add functionality and handle additional customer touchpoints.
These tools have their own way to store data and the problem is that most of them are not really “talking to each other.” The lack of communication between apps leads to a major data management challenge for businesses of all sizes: data silos.
2. Data Silos
Cloud software has made a lot of things easier for businesses: you can work anywhere, stay up to date on every device, and not rely on hardware updates. But even when you are using cloud-based applications across your business, most of them are not natively integrated.
As a result, little fragments of customer data are isolated within these applications. When that happens, you have a data silos problem.
Data silos can be kryptonite for businesses. They make it impossible to have a 360-degree view of your customers when your data is isolated. Since each one of your teams is looking at their own particular subset of data, decisions will rarely be aligned and definitely not driven by the data that matters to everyone.
Even when there is good communication between teams, sharing quality data has its structural challenges. Many sales teams are accidentally spending time on leads that their marketing colleagues have already identified as cold.
When native integrations are not available, the best way to have the right data in the right tools is through third-party integration services.
For example, using an integration solution can help you align different departments in your business by having:
The right marketing leads and their qualification data in the CRM
The right customer attributes collected by a CRM available on a marketing tool
Integrated Data Is Essential for Data-Driven Decisions
Collecting massive amounts of data is no longer the problem. Today’s challenge is managing data efficiency and avoiding silos.
Integrated systems and synchronization solutions allow you to have the right information available in the right tool at the right time. Then, and only then, can you have a clear and complete view of your customers. This enables you to use data to illuminate the best path forward rather than making decisions based on gut feeling or past experience alone.
Additionally, data synchronization brings your teams closer together and aligns their view of the customer. Having your tools “talking to each other” can also leverage something very valuable for all businesses: time.
Article adapted from here