Data sharing among everyone in your organization is essential for success
- Data silos affect every aspect of business
- It’s impossible to offer a great customer experience without a holistic view
- Data sharing and transparency are imperative to meet both customer expectations and business goals
- Dismantling data silos is essential to increase productivity and connect with customers
To deeply and productively connect with consumers, it is essential to connect all the staff in your organization with the same data. If you can’t tap into a holistic picture of the customer journey, you’re missing opportunities to provide the experience your customers expect and improve your bottom line.
Siloed data is raw data that is isolated from all but one department. Not only does this hamper efficiency and decision-making, but it also creates a lack of transparency. Data silos are bad for business – they prevent collaboration, which affects competitiveness, produces bad customer experiences, and reduces data accuracy.
Let’s look at why data silos are so bad and what you can do to consolidate your customer data. With the silos down, you can deliver the right marketing push at the right time with the messaging and information your buyers want and need.
Why siloed data is bad for business
For optimum business performance, companies need a 360-degree view of their data and an analytics strategy to improve the entire business. This requires a data structure that supports sharing with every department, from sales to production.
For example, to provide the best customer experience, you have to know what they like and what they don’t like. Negative buyer feedback today comes from many sources, including social media, customer service teams, message boards, and consumer product rating sites.
Who has that data? Is it all stored within separate departments? Does only marketing have that data? If so, there’s a missed opportunity for customer service to reach out and smooth things over with dissatisfied customers.
Is transactional data only available to the finance team? That’s a missed opportunity for an upsell based on personalized information.
Data silos are also a serious threat to data accuracy, and this impacts every part of your business, including departments you might not even think about like financial planning, IT, and human resources. Without a central system of data storage, any person in your organization who needs that data may download a personal copy that uses more storage space and makes finding the most up-to-date information all but impossible. Changes on those copies do not replicate across the entire system, which soon leads to multiple versions of what should be the same information.
Isolated data rapidly becomes inaccurate or outdated, and multiple copies of any set of data can skew it, render sampling and analysis inaccurate, and destroy valuable insights.
That’s how siloed data can harm your business, but what can you do about it?
3 tips to dismantle your silos and start sharing data
You might be thinking that you’ll simply merge databases, but this ignores an important point: Data is not static. People move and change email addresses and phone numbers. Manual importation of changes is impossible and time-consuming, and increases the risk of data errors.
Here are three key steps to breaking down data silos and preventing them from being rebuilt:
1. Data Integration software
Integration software will give you high-quality data and a complete customer picture. Data is updated automatically, everyone in the organization sees the same information, and that helps create a great customer experience.
You’ll be able to bring together large amounts of data from marketing, sales, your website, your CRM platform, and other data sources. With some analytics, you can make better business decisions using insights only available with a unified view of your data.
2. Encourage cross-departmental communication
As your company grew, you created different departments, each with a specific purpose. Many times, these departments do not interact with each other, which creates another kind of silo. Promote inter-departmental sharing and openness, rather than secretive competition.
This goes back to company culture, and culture is created from the top down. Support and endorse cooperative and helpful working relationships between departments, including marketing, sales, product, analytics, and customer service. Data silos will be dismantled, and you’ll create a culture of inclusion and teamwork.
3. Clean up your data
Your company likely has years’ worth of data — much of it siloed, sad, and outdated. Going through all that data may seem like an impossible task, but you can use it to build camaraderie among employees by having teams go through the data and clear out anything that isn’t necessary. However, before you do, it’s important to backup all data in case something gets deleted that shouldn’t or, in the future, there are questions.
This step is important because the data you want to import into your integration platform needs to be current and accurate. Among other things, you’ll want to:
- Check that first and last names are in separate fields
- Keep data in the correct columns
- Make sure entries are in the proper format
- Try to catch duplicates
Other things to look for include incomplete addresses and inconsistent data. Inconsistent data includes things like a state name, such as New Jersey, being expressed varyingly as NJ or New Jersey or N.J. throughout the data set. Decide on a format and adopt it across all records. Correct spelling errors as you find them. The point is to develop a standard for data entry that will carry over into the future.
Dismantling data silos is a critical process that is crucial for delivering outstanding customer experiences, which in turn create brand loyalty, help optimize your marketing programs, and increase profitability.
Find current, clean, quality data at BDEX
The tools at BDEX help you get the quality data you need, right when you need it, which means increased ROI for you.
We have over 6 billion unique IDs, over 5,500 data categories, more than 800 million mobile ID-to-email matches, and over 1 trillion data signals. With BDEX, you’re empowered to create your own custom audience. So, all you have to do to get your messages in front of the right people at the right time is to build your ideal customer to target and download the data.
Make real human connections with BDEX. Contact the team today to get started transforming the quality and accuracy of your data.