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How to unify customer data by merging data from different sources

You need to act quickly by unifying customer data that comes in large volumes from scattered sources for effective customer journey analysis and better business prospects.


Do you know what happened to Sean Downey the VP at Media Platforms, Google?

He was a regular customer with an online portal for purchasing games. But despite of his past purchase history, his user journey remained complicated and the cherry on the icing was that he was offered the game he purchased at full price, at a discount later! What do you think went wrong here? The website probably missed out on unified customer data for effective customer insights.

Large volumes of data can disrupt customer data analysis and overwhelm you with the overload instead, leaving you indecisive about all the accessible data. But as a savvy brand, to be on the top of your game you need to harness the disparate data about your customers, streaming in from all the myriad sources. And you must be able to furnish these offerings at the right time to the right customer at the right price and place. After all, the most essential role you play as a marketer is to have deep customer insights through a comprehensive customer journey analysis, which helps build an everlasting relationship with your customers.

So, what do you need to do?

You require unified customer data to grow your business and stop losing your customers to other competitors.

It is evident from the example above, that creating value for customers by just having a good range of product and service offerings is not enough. You need deeper customer insights, through a comprehensive customer data analysis leading to a great customer journey analysis. It all goes hand in glove for better customer engagement levels. Doing so requires you to converge the omnichannel customer data reporting on a single platform as unified customer data to simplify your marketing process. Based on the customer data analysis of this unified data, you can make effective decisions in terms of customer segmentation or personalisation of ads for your customers. You can also determine if there is any change required in the channel, campaign investment, or the advertising strategy. So be it marketing, finance or operations, unified customer data helps in optimizing the marketing processes and resources by timely reacting to real time customer and market changes.

How to use unified customer data for analysis:

Now, say you have identified the data sources and unified the customer data. The next question is which platform to choose to get the job done for enhanced customer journey analysis. There are several tools available, both free and paid, that can help in accomplishing the above-mentioned tasks. Some of the popular tools are Tableau, Datorama, SQL, Power BI and QlikView. These tools offer flexible ways of ingesting and providing unified customer data.

The entire process of data unification from omnichannel customer data reporting has several steps within it which makes the process very time consuming. It involves ingesting, cleaning and harmonising the data. Ingesting is done mainly using API/Excel, cleaning involves removal of redundant data and harmonisation involves the actual unification between the different data sources using the concepts of SQL joins. Once this is done, it is also important to conduct re-checks/ quality checks to ensure the sanity of data. For example, after the unification process, say the number of clicks data for a specific campaign is more than views, this indicates the existence of some error made during the process of unification. Such an error can have a massive effect on customer insights during the customer data analysis, and can affect customer journey analysis, cost analysis and ROI. It is therefore important to ensure that the mapped data is matching the original data.

If you want your very own window seat to unified customer data, we can help you build a Marketing Data Lake. This combines data sources for easy analysis, gets you a single view of the customer, helps you add and delete data sources easily, and makes your data a lot more reliable.

Definitive steps towards unified customer data helps you apply customer insights across your business. A unified view of your customer empowers you with a great customer journey analysis and enables you to reach your customers with useful experiences. This is what ultimately serves as a propeller for long-term business growth and acceleration.

Drive better results by understanding customer data