blog | 4 min read

Scenarios Unusable Customer Data Has Forced Us Into

January 15, 2021

Graphic image with balls.

With every moment that passes, more customer data comes into existence, just waiting to be analyzed and implemented into a home run strategy.

If only data came ready to rock for real results. The sheer volume of it, scattered across so many systems, makes it tough to use. In fact, there’s so much data that oftentimes it’s more of a problem than it is a solution. Look no further than your LinkedIn or Twitter feed to see how data overload can cloud judgement and make decisions harder.

Actually, look no further than your own company.

Too much data, bad data, difficult-to-use data… for people in consumer businesses, it’s enough to lose sleep over. It might help to know that you’re not alone. Let’s talk about three common scenarios we all face when customer data quality isn’t prioritized and how to use data more effectively across the enterprise.

We don’t trust the data, so we don’t use it

Different data points tell different stories about the same customers and segments, and it can be hard to know which version of the truth you can rely on. Even if we recognize the need to clean up and consolidate, time constraints can often make us sweep our customer data issues under the rug. The show must go on. You power through. Data can wait. Next thing you know, you’re reporting pipeline and you have to explain why your plan was a bust and how it’ll work out better on the next go round. Back to square one.

It’s too much to organize, so we just guess

By the time many enterprises realize how serious their customer data issue is, the data is already fractured into silos, usually in outdated systems that don’t speak with one another. Kind of reminiscent of family reunions, actually.

Aggregating data from legacy systems without the right tools is about as fun as sitting through Uncle Eddie’s latest political rant, so what do we always do? Follow our gut. Who knew business systems and family holiday dinners had so much in common?

The truth is that following your gut may not put you off track immediately, but it will soon enough. Where you might be only 4 degrees off the first week, that will add up, and before long you’ll be moving backwards and against the current. And when you’re in the business of ROI, that’s extremely costly and takes a lot of work to course-correct.

We have to act fast, so we’re afraid it will slow us down

You’ve undoubtedly heard buzzy phrases in your company touting how quickly the team executes. Being agile is of course important, but speed will never solve the issues that speed causes. The problem is that it takes some dedicated focus to get the data into shape for use, especially if you don’t have the right tools.

We get it — the end of month is unforgiving, and deadlines don’t care how much work it takes, but when it’s all said and done, accurate customer data is usable customer data. Having usable data is paramount when making the right decisions at the right moments, increasing ROI along the way. And, you guessed it… taking the time up front to get your data into shape helps you work faster in the long run.

The right tools and techniques

Many, if not all, consumer-facing companies share these pains at some point. Here at Amperity, we built a Customer Data Platform to help turn customer data from headache into competitive advantage — unifying it, making it easy to access and use, and getting it all up and running fast. We’ve been able to come alongside with great brands to work through customer data challenges, and we’ve learned a lot along the way.

To add some more depth, we put together this guide called Using Customer Data Across the Enterprise, where we dig into the largest challenges brands face when it comes to organizing and activating data, how to overcome them, and what it can look like when the data is usable for teams across the company.

With the right tools and techniques, customer data can go from being a hang-up to a power-up.

Download the guide