In today’s world, every day we are listening about data, about how we should collect customer’s data, how important is to cover all source and numerous constructions with word data in it. But in the end, the key question that every company should ask is How can we gain value from our data. Indeed, it is correct that if you want to utilize all data opportunities and be a data-driven company, firstly you should cover all basic steps such as collecting data from all channels. More importantly, from the first step through the whole process, the leading star should always be to bring value to your customers.
WHAT IS UNIFIED DATA?
Simply spoken, when a company integrates its many fragmented data sources into one and creates a single central view – it represents unified data. It means that data can be virtualized through one unified layer. This approach offers the company to have a centralized view of companywide data for various departments and employees to share and use data for decision making.
Having non-unified data means that there are difficulties to share the same knowledge and analysis through the company and to include everyone in data-driven processes. Moving to a unified data concept means that the company will be able to easier gather around a common goal. Also, something that companies have to be aware of is that having structured data is not the same as having unified data. Structured datasets are defined and their patterns make them easy to search and find in relational databases. Although, it is necessary to have structured data, if companies want to excel in being data-driven, the path that they should follow is moving to unified data.
Also, one of the key parts when we are talking about unified data is the importance of data quality and additionally, not all data is the same. Having different data such as structured, unstructured, and multi-structured data and having low quality data are the key challenges of creating unified data along with the complexity of merging source and storage systems. Facing all these challenges is not easy, but with the right leading, teams can overcome every obstacle and create a path for having unified data.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
When we are talking about the benefits of unified data, besides technology benefits such as better data security, faster data access and analytics, as well as improved data quality and scalability, there are also a lot of business benefits. One of the key benefits of having unified data is that company with it will have a precise and complete picture of what is happening inside the organization and put the customer in the center of the business. Owing to building a unified data ecosystem, business intelligence teams and analysts, along with product owners and customer-oriented teams, can be sure that they know their company in the first place and of course know their customers. With all this in mind, companies will be able to be more agile while making better business decisions and also to increase innovation and improve customer experience.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT CUSTOMER JOURNEY?
Once a company’s strategy and data are created around the customer, the next step is to use data across all points of the customer’s journey and to create a fully personalized and dynamic journey for each and every customer.
So, having data gathered from numerous channels enables a business to leverage it for:
- Obtaining insights about communication channels,
- Identifying customer preferences and needs,
- Improving internal processes that have an impact on the customer journey,
- Personalization of its products and services,
- Handling problems and dissatisfaction,
- Choosing the right action towards each customer,
- Using advanced analytics and concepts.
Mentioning unified data at first sounds like a more technical process and as it does not have any impact on customers or business processes. However, this is just a tiny part of the greater picture and benefits that it brings. By thinking of your data, not only are you working on data centralization and unification, but also:
- Increasing customer satisfaction,
- Gathering valuable business insights,
- Enhancing overall business processes.
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