Overcoming customer data fragmentation

  • Posted: 19th September 2019

A successful digital transformation strategy relies on good data. When discussing data, ‘good’ means that it’s timely, contextual and unified. If it doesn’t fulfil these criteria, you can’t expect to draw meaningful insights from it.

This is something that a lot of companies struggle with and it’s often the root cause of unsuccessful digital transformation projects and marketing strategies. The good news is that an understanding of what data fragmentation is and knowing how it happens in the first place is enables you to tackle it.

What is data fragmentation?

Mass data fragmentation is when your data is fragmented across siloes, and it’s an expensive and time-consuming problem if you don’t have the right solutions in place. Having incomplete pictures of your customers leads to ineffective marketing campaigns, and therefore, less sales for the business

What causes data fragmentation?

The most common causes of data fragmentation include:

  • Too much data – There is such thing as having too much data and it is often the cause of fragmentation. In addition, with GDPR in full swing, brands should only collect the data that is needed.
  • Unstructured data – Data needs to be properly organised to collect clear insights. Ideally, your data will be organised and structured when you start collecting it.
  • Siloed data – Data is often stored on different systems, both online and offline and in places where it may never be discovered (this is known as ‘dark data’). This means it can’t be joined up properly to create one clear picture.

Data fragmentation is a problem mainly because it means that you’re normally wasting good data. It’s all very well storing data, but if it can’t be activated properly, it’s not serving its purpose. Tidying it up and unifying it will help drive your marketing activity and increase customer engagement.

Tools for solving data fragmentation

Solving data fragmentation comes down to controlling and organising it the moment it comes in, whether that’s from a website visit, social media or a purchase in-store. Having a robust data supply chain (normally organised by collecting, standardising, transforming/enriching, integrating and activating data) is key.

In addition, companies like Tealium have developed sophisticated data management tools to help businesses do this automatically. More specifically, Tealium’s suite of data management products, known as Tealium’s Universal Data Hub includes:

  • Tealium iQ Tag Management. The foundation of Tealium’s Universal Data Hub and is designed to help you deploy and manage vendor tags in one place.
  • Tealium EventStream: Designed to collect, control and deliver server-side event data
  • Tealium AudienceStream: Uses identity resolution, data enrichment features and audience management tools to create complete customer profiles.
  • Tealium DataAccess: Acts as a data hub. It combines all of the data that has been collected, enriched and activated, and allows users to access, visualise and activate it, all in one place.

In addition to using the right tools, it’s important to develop a culture of data within your organisation. You can do this by teaching employees about how to use data and how it can help them achieve their goals. It’s also worth educating them on best practices for managing and storing it. You might want to hire a Chief Data Officer to oversee the program and ensure that all data is stored properly.

If you’d like some help with organising and storing your data to make sure you get the most out of it, contact our specialists today.