Understanding every facet of the customer is key to putting the business in a better position to fulfill their expectations. With a 360-degree customer view, products, solutions, and experiences can be driven through actionable insights. Research proves that enterprises that leverage customer insights outperform their peers in bottom-line revenue growth. Collecting strategic customer data and insights is critical to gain competitive intelligence, optimize operations and supply chain, and target customers accurately.

Obstacles to derive value

Though businesses dedicate a lot of effort in collecting customer information, they use only a fragment of the data to drive decisions. For example, a retail store has enough data on customer purchases, the frequency with which they seek customer service, and website browsing time. The information is gathered by different teams and deposited in isolated, disparate systems. This silo makes gaining reliable insights about customers’ habits and preferences nearly impossible.

Extensive legacy systems, siloed databases, and intermittent automation prevents companies from deriving value from the data collected. Relying on stale data analysis coupled, with tedious manual intervention, forces businesses to leave strategic value on the table.

Connects the dots

Data sources capturing sales, buying behavior, viewership, social listening, website traffic, customer service frequency, etc., provide a singular angle of view to customer experience. For better decision making, data from all relevant sources must be integrated to get a 360-degree view. It is where Customer Data Integration (CDI) plays a significant role by connecting the dots.

Customer data integration is the process of syncing customer data from data sources to enable sharper analysis by a seamless collaboration of various tools, teams, and data. Automated and engineered CDI is preferred to manual implementation methods. They ensure that an organization’s single source of truth is complete and up-to-date while minimizing the cost of managing data.

Data 360 – Connecting the Data DotsDownload Article

The importance of data quality

CDI helps businesses maintain the sanity of the data collected. The integration tools ensure that the data is complete (without any missing fields), accurate, and consistent. It improves the latency of data by helping utilize the data before it turns obsolete. Data governance, stewardship, and ownership are defined precisely to ensure the quality of available data for smarter decision-making.

Key benefits

  • Improves customer retention
  • Increases sales conversion
  • Facilitates effective marketing and sales communication
  • Reduces operating cost and resource overutilization
  • Optimizes product assortment, promotion, pricing, and inventory rotation
  • Enables choice of strategic locations for retail outlets, distribution centers, and offices
  • Supports Master Data Management (MDM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Top five reasons why enterprises need a Customer Data Integration (CDI) strategy

The need for an effective CDI cannot be emphasized enough. Here are 5 top reasons why enterprises should integrate customer data, to stay competitive and relevant.

1. Minimize manual effort, cost, and time

CDI uses reliable data automation tools and technologies to improve workforce performance, deliver unified customer experiences, boost enterprise agility, and reduce operational cost. Tasks are consolidated to give teams a collaborative ecosystem with the freedom to focus on strategic growth areas. With power-packed teams and a robust CDI system, enterprises can enable disruption-free rollouts and implementations with lowered cost, time, and effort.

2. Maintain business continuity

During times of crisis, the right CDI helps incident management teams monitor and analyze data integration performance. When the integration is efficiently done, companies find it easier to maintain business continuity and resolve the impact on its core business and operations.

3. Reduce business risks

CDI provides centralized data governance and stewardship that reduces business risk by ensuring effective access control, change management process, data encryption, and other checks and balances. Process workflows are derisked through accurate, consistent, secure, and fully-compliant data integration and management.

4. Quick response to data security threats

Protecting customer data is of prime importance to businesses. Data integration systems contain potent tools that defend IT infrastructure from data breaches and intrusion. Governance controls in CDI shut down cybersecurity attacks and respond immediately to the threat by updating the attack credentials and securing the environment and restoring business processing to normalcy.

5. Shorten go-to-market cycles

CDI enables greater agility in digital transformation by preventing slowdowns or downtimes. Hastening enterprise-wide disruption, CDI shortens go-to-market cycles by lowering data discrepancies while managing critical business data that facilitates data-driven business decisions.

Enterprises that do not leverage and protect customer data will start disappearing soon, as they will not be able to personalize the customer experience. Without data-driven insights, their ads, social media campaigns, customer loyalty programs, and even service/product designs will turn futile. To gain a competitive edge in today’s business world, enterprises must implement an effective Customer Data Integration strategy.

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