Most companies we speak with know they need to be making better use of their data. But, they never feel like their data is perfect. These two competing forces cause analysis paralysis, where companies spin their wheels for months. The truth is, there is no such thing as perfect data.
The world is split into two types of companies: “Data Hoarders”, and “Data Growth Drivers”. Data Hoarders want to make their data perfect, and seek to solve all use cases for the data in a multi-year roadmap before making impact. Data Growth Drivers, instead, find the first use cases of data and look to drive value with what they currently have.
Data Growth Drivers take a practical approach. Instead of having endless debates about the state of their data and accuracy of their customer 360, they take an honest assessment of what exists today in their Data Warehouse and establish a clear state of the world, and identify business growth use cases they can execute on in less than 90 days. How do they do it?
Data is never perfect
It may seem like your data isn’t “ready”, but in reality it never will be. Embrace the data that exists and then build from there. Your first step is establishing your “Data State of the World”.
This usually takes the form of a data dictionary and entity relationship diagram (ERD). We also recommend simplifying with a quick slide like the one below so business stakeholders have an understanding of what is going on under the hood.
The most common misconception is that you need all the data on your customers to start driving value from it. In actuality, we typically see companies that have a customer table and at least one of either: a transaction table (ex. purchases or orders) or an events table (ex. actions taken on a mobile device), can generate a ton of value for their business team. This is even prior to doing identity resolution or having “all the purchases or events a customer makes in one place”.
Drive value from your data cloud today
The longer your data just sits in the warehouse, the less valuable it is. There are a few analogies here, but not activating your data before its perfect is like buying a convertible sports car when you live in Alaska. You’re holding onto something and not using it, essentially depreciating the investment you’ve made.
In order to start driving value from your Data Cloud, you need to activate it. It's not enough for the data to be centralized.
Data Growth Drivers take a look at where that current data can be used to drive business value in the next 90 days. Can it be used in email marketing for cross sell campaigns? Can it be used in Salesforce to give sales reps opportunities to convert free trials to paid customers? Data Growth Drivers set out to identify the top 3 use cases of their data.
With the use cases identified (ie. Cross sell campaigns for email and push notification) they develop a process for delivering that data to the business team to execute the programs. Developing the process can be clunky at first. It may even involve CSVs! But, the point is not to be efficient, it is to develop the habit, the muscle, in your organization to make data useful. Marketers and Sales teams begin working with your data team and creating a “culture of making data drive growth”. This takes time, but when it takes hold, it changes your company.
Once this muscle develops you can begin looking into tools like Flywheel to make it even easier for your business and data teams to collaborate and drive growth across marketing channels.
Data Value Roadmap
With the initial success in hand, Data Growth Drivers then do discovery with business stakeholders to identify 5-10 additional use cases that their data cannot solve for today, but will be able to in the future. They use these use cases to create a “Data Roadmap” in their organization.
If you are identifying with the Data Growth Drivers, you can get started with a customer table and some type of transaction or event data table. You’ll be shocked, and encouraged, that these two tables unlock all sorts of cross sell/upsell/winback value.
Build momentum on your first data growth win
Many Flywheel users start small and then the results they see actually drives the additional data they bring into their data cloud: from weather reports to Salesforce CRM actions to Point-of-Sale data and more. There are a number of tools to help import new data sources like Fivetran and Matillion. And other platforms like dbt, Matillion and Talend for processing. Flywheel (that’s us!) is the no-code data activation platform.
When to call in the professionals
Many organizations want to get through their data build journey faster due to several reasons: they don’t have the capabilities in house, their team doesn’t have the time, or they want to go faster than they can build alone.
If you have demonstrated initial value as a “Data Growth Driver”, have developed your Data Roadmap, and need external resources, that is the right time to bring in a partner.
It's never too early to start utilizing the data you’ve built in your data warehouse and become part of the Data Growth Drivers. To start driving value from your data warehouse today, contact us to speak with one of our solutions architects.