Last year, we created 16.1 zettabytes of data. To quantify that massive number, think of the amount of storage space on a 16GB iPhone; 16.1 zettabytes of data would fill about 937 billion of them.
The amount of data available presents a huge opportunity for marketers to provide consumers with the personalized experiences they prefer and have come to expect. In pursuit of that, companies are increasingly hiring more data scientists and chief data officers.
But to truly capitalize on data, it should be interpreted, distributed and stored in a unified way, which is where most companies struggle. Only 7% of marketers consistently deliver data-driven, customer-centric experiences, according to an April CMO Council report.
Content produced in association with Looker.
The danger of data silos
Data silos have been a major issue for years, leading to miscommunication and missed opportunities, failure to identify overarching problems, and down the line, poor customer experience. Some data silos are political, with certain groups within an organization preferring to keep “their” data close to the chest.
Others start more innocently, a result of snowballing structural issues. The sales, marketing and finance departments all have their own individual goals and objectives, which means that within an organization, there are different, potentially contradictory, KPIs and measures of success.
These disparate views of data are often exacerbated by technological inconsistency. The Winterberry Group found that on their quest for data-driven marketing, the average organization uses 12.4 different tools.
Each tool naturally has its own analytics dashboard, prioritizing different data sets. And given the amount of money and training that goes into implementing each new technology, decision-makers are likely to wear blinders and believe that their choice tool’s view of the data is the best one.
It may be, for their specific function. But is it the view that’s best aligned with the company’s overall goals?
All departments benefit from an end-to-end view of data across the business. This is impossible to achieve if different groups are creating their own success metrics in a vacuum, and possibly not even communicating with each other.
Taking a more unified view
A single view of the customer is the pot of gold every marketer is ostensibly searching for. But achieving it is easier said than done.
Surveying more than 1,000 marketers around the world, Experian Data Quality found that 99% of companies believe a single customer view is important for their business. Only 24% actually have one.
The right analytics tool can give marketers a more unified view, however, providing a simpler, clearer picture. Instead of making unrelated observations based on different metrics, you’re better able to see patterns and glean stronger insights.
A more transparent view of the customer makes it easier for the marketer to interpret data and in turn, paint a better picture for the senior leadership team. This all trickles back down to the customer, whose experience is improved.
To sum up
Without data, marketers can’t get to know their customers well enough to deliver the experiences they want. As technology (and by extension, the world) continues to evolve, data is only going to become a bigger factor in business decisions. Consider that nearly all of the data in the world was generated in the last two years.
You’ve probably heard that before; it’s a timeless factoid because it’s always true. Data just keeps growing exponentially, highlighting how it’s simultaneously becoming more important and more overwhelming.
Having a more unified view of your data allows you to extract better insights by seeing what’s working (and what isn’t), making it significantly easier to provide a better customer experience. That efficiency is key; just think about how much data we’ll produce five years from now.
To further understand how a customized analytics dashboard can help you, check out Looker’s Metrics That Matter report.
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