Patrick Kitchell
Patrick Kitchell 16 February 2015

Where Are Your Data Oases?

What are ways that companies can operationalise their data set in the era of Big data?

I spoke last week at a B2B conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was very inspiring to listen to case studies and industry leaders like Google and Linkedin chime in on B2B, Big Data and an array of topics that highlight the massive changes disrupting our businesses today.

What I find most interesting is that both Google and Linkedin offer insights (due to their massive pools of data) on what are the current trends but they do not offer any suggestions about how to manage the massive data so it becomes operational and drives revenue for organizations. With the overload of data everyone is experiencing "MADD: marketing attention deficit disorder" and need help seeing the trees from the forest. Therefore, I would like to introduce one thing organization should be doing to help their employees be successful in the era of the Big Data Jungle.

I have a term called: The Data Oases. The Data Oases are pools of data that organizations strategically and pro-actively gather for their employees, to help them manage and succeed in their work. We all know that the amount of data that is being created is immense and therefore it is important that organizations strategically define what data is important to them and gather it, analyse it and make it operational to the people that need it. It has to be a bottom up approach so the people on the front lines can define the data they need.

Let me give an example:

In our Dynamics CRM we have a very tight integration to our digital marketing systems, which run on Sitecore. As part of the integration we push in our web analytics’s(goals) from our analytic database into our CRM and correlate them in order of date as an activity type in CRM.

This means that when a contact has been on the website we can see three things:

  1. Recency Field: last time a contact has been on the website in the number of days 
  2. A Score that is calculated daily(wont go into that now) and 
  3. Web Activities in chronological order: Outlining the events the contacts have trigger off the web site. Add to this that we push an array of data about the type of actionable event that occurred on the website which we can see below. 

This Data Oasis is a real gold mine if used properly because it shows sales and marketing exactly what customers, potential customers, partners, competitors are doing on the web and which marketing campaigns these are tied too.

Once this data it is in the CRM it becomes actionable and searchable and then skies are the limits. Sales people can arrange their contact’s data by campaigns, date, form submits and with that create dashboards or pivot tables.

Also, a CRM contact has a direct relationship to a CRM account and all the web activities on contacts will aggregate to the account level giving CRM users a total overview of web related activities mixed in with sales activities (if sales activities are logged into the CRM).

See below: This data correlation gives powerful insights to the CRM end users. It has the ability to help sales people have better conversations with contacts based on what the contact has been doing thus eliminating the cold part of the call.

In conclusion, we are living in amazing times with disruptive technology and massive amounts of data. Organizations need to help themselves by pooling data that is deemed important and down prioritizing the rest. By creating Data Oases, organizations are helping employees cut through the noise and hopefully be more customer focused, efficient and successful.

This post was published first here.


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