How to Leverage Data Unification for Better Customer Insights

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How to Leverage Data Unification for Better Customer Insights Customer Retention
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Introduction

Most organizations, especially larger ones, experience an influx of data ever single day. When this data isn’t effectively managed, organizations suffer significant consequences as data analysis and decision-making become extremely tedious. Additionally, with the increasing amount of channels through which customers now interact with organizations, it is becoming harder to unify data from various systems such as e-commerce platforms, social media, CRM, warehouse management, finance, product management, and more. 

In today’s article, we will explore the concept of data unification and go over the key challenges that an effective data unification tool can help solve.

Why do businesses need Data Unification?

Data Unification allows you to gather data from various operational systems and data sources to unlock the true potential of your customer data. Siloed data results in a disconnected customer journey and reduces customer satisfaction. It conceals data and insights between departments and leads to inefficient and/or poor decision-making. 

Organizations can pick between various data unification software or tools that help combine customer data across platforms in scale, regardless of its source. The platform eliminates data silos and friction between departments & creates a cohesive view of customer data, enabling every department to access all customer data.

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Why Data Unification is Important?

Data synchronisation is only one aspect of data integration. Businesses now gather enormous volumes of data from a variety of sources, including transactions, social media, customer service interactions, and more. Companies receive fresh data every second, and for data to be meaningful, it must always be accessible for analysis.

Data unification helps organizations by: 

  • Improving Decision-making

For companies trying to improve customer insights, data unification offers a number of advantages. Businesses can develop a more comprehensive understanding of their customers by combining customer data from many sources. Hence, firms will be better able to comprehend customer behaviour, preferences, and needs. By having a better understanding of their customers, these business are able make more effective decisions that benefit them and their customers. 

  • Reducing Errors 

The improved data accuracy and completeness is one of the key benefits of data unification for consumer insights. Businesses can find and eliminate redundant or inconsistent data by combining customer data from several sources. In turn, this guarantees the accuracy and completeness of the unified customer data, which can enhance the calibre of consumer insights.

  • Helping achieve Data Democratization 

Employees may find it difficult to efficiently access and use consumer data when it is segregated in various systems or departments. By combining customer data from various sources into a single, uniform perspective, data unification provides a solution to this issue. Employees may now access and use client data more easily, regardless of their level of technical knowledge or proficiency. 

Data unification ensures that employees are using consistent and reliable data in their decision-making by giving them a single source of truth for consumer data. This could enhance the calibre of choices and results, which would be advantageous for corporate success.

  • Improving Employee Efficiency

By minimising the time spent on data entry and management and streamlining data access and retrieval, data unification significantly increases employee efficiency. Employees no longer have to manually enter or manage data across various systems, which saves time and reduces the risk of errors.

Additionally, data unification provides a centralised platform to access and analyse customer data, which streamlines the process of retrieving relevant information and makes it easier for employees to make data-driven decisions. Data unification can significantly benefit your overall business performance by streamlining these procedures and enabling staff to operate more productively.

  • Better Customer Segmentation and Increased Personalization

Data unification’s impact on personalization and customer segmentation is another critical advantage to customer insights. Businesses can acquire a thorough insight of their consumers’ behaviour, preferences, and needs by combining customer data. As a result, firms may be able to develop marketing campaigns, product lines, and customer experiences that are more distinctive and focused. Businesses can better serve each customer segment’s unique demands by segmenting their consumer base based on shared traits and behaviours. 

  • Eliminate Data Silos

Data unification also plays a critical role in helping businesses overcome data silos. It might be difficult to get a complete picture of customers when client data is compartmentalised among various systems or departments. Businesses may eliminate these silos and get a more comprehensive understanding of their consumers by combining customer data, which can increase customer engagement and loyalty.

In conclusion, firms that seek to enhance their consumer insights can greatly benefit from data unification in a number of ways. Businesses can use customer data to enhance customer engagement, loyalty, and business outcomes by enhancing data accuracy and completeness, enabling personalization and customer segmentation, and dismantling data silos. Businesses can attain these advantages and acquire a competitive edge in their industry by selecting the most suitable data unification platform and leveraging it’s features.

You can read our blog on why data integration is important to gain a better grasp of the benefits of effective data unification.

The Challenges of Siloed Data and How to Overcome them

  • Challenge 1: Creating a Single Source of Truth 

Typically, managing customer data requires the usage of several different software programmes. You might use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, an email marketing tool, or a customer relationship management (CRM) system, for instance. These programmes all collect data in a unique way. Then there is a third type of data, which is data that has been acquired from sources outside of your organisation and is utilised for updating, enriching, and validating data. The challenge is to organise everything in one place and make it available to those who need it.

Solution to create a single source of truth 

Adopt a platform for connecting consumer data that combines and arranges information from several sources into a single source of truth.

  • Challenge 2: Data Cleaning 

Another obstacle is verifying the accuracy of the customer data. Data consolidation on a single platform is only one aspect of data unification. Data quickly becomes out of-date and stale. Requesting that employees fact-check every client record kept on the systems wastes time, resources, and increases the risk of error.

Solution for data cleaning 

Leverage a customer data platform that automatically updates (and adds) information to improve accuracy. Such platforms can identify and eliminate duplicates during the data consolidation process. 

  • Challenge 3: Eliminating Data Silos

A key advantage of unified data is that it empowers cross-departmental collaboration. Conversely, silos make it more challenging for a company to accomplish goals that require the collaboration of various divisions. To increase client retention rates, for instance, the sales, client service, and marketing departments must work together. Revenue targets will remain elusive unless there is a connection across departments.

Solution for Eliminating data silos 

Reconnect your departments by utilising a unified data platform that eliminates data silos and frees your data to be used where it is needed throughout your organisation. Unified data can be analysed more effectively and facilitates improved decision-making.

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How to Levergage Data Unification for Better Customer Insights

Data unification is becoming incredibly valuable for businesses that want to develop a comprehensive understanding of their customers. Businesses can use customer data to acquire insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and needs by merging customer data from numerous sources into a single, unified view. 

To leverage customer data unification for better customer insights, companies should follow a set of steps. These steps are: 

  1. Identify Data Sources: The first step Ito leverage customer data unification for enhanced customer insights involves identifying data sources. All consumer data sources, including customer service databases, social media networks, and customer feedback forms, must be identified. 
  2. Map Data Attributes: The next step is to map data attributes, where organisations must find shared data attributes across various data sources and develop a framework for data unification. 
  3. Choose a Data Unification Platform: Once businesses have mapped data attributes, they must then select a  data unification platform. Data unification can be accomplished using a number of software programmes, including Talend, IBM Infosphere, and Informatica. These tools can carry out several functions, including data cleansing, matching, and merging, to help businesses unify their customer data.
  4. Clean and Normalize Data: The next crucial step in utilising data unification for greater customer insights is cleaning and normalising data. Duplicate, incomplete, and irrelevant data must be eliminated during the data cleansing stage. To maintain uniformity across all data sources, normalising data includes standardising data formats, such as dates and addresses.
  5. Test and Validate Data Unification Results: Once the data has been cleaned and normalised, it then needs to be tested and validated to ensure that the unified customer data is accurate, complete, and consistent. Comparing data from several sources during testing and validation helps confirm that the data has been appropriately unified and that no data has been lost or duplicated.

Takeaways

It’s clear that siloed and unorganized data poses many challenges to the data analysis and decision-making processes. Therefore, leveraging tools and software built for data unification can significantly help businesses make better decisions and propel them forward with truly unified data.

Unified data allows for scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency during data analysis, enabling businesses to accelerate many processes. With Voxco Intelligence’s AI-driven data unification feature, you can easily gather data from multiple data sources, spot data discrepancies, and unify data to create a single source of truth.

FAQs

1. What is Data Unification? 

Data unification is the process of integrating customer data across all channels and various operational systems to create a single source of truth.

2. How does data unification help organizations?

Data unification helps organizations in the following ways: 

  1. Improves decision-making 
  2. Reduces errors 
  3. Helps achieve data democratization 
  4. Improves employee efficiency
  5. Increases overall business competitiveness

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