Simplifying data complexity

The complexity of data has never been so great, as illustrated by mTab Senior Strategic Advisor, Crispin Beal, in his Research Live article titled ‘Five Data Pitfalls to Avoid in the COVID-19 Era.’ These growing issues with data are not only exasperated by COVID, but also by the sheer volume businesses are coping with. According to a Market Pulse survey, the average enterprise is drawing data from over 400 internal and external sources across online platforms, apps, CRM solutions, social media channels, POS systems, customer surveys, industry reports, product reviews, loyalty programs and more.

John Sevec
Vice President of Client Strategy

Beyond this, IDG reports that enterprise data volume is growing at a rate of 63 percent per month only adding to the complexity of data. To address this massive issue we spoke with John Sevec, Senior Vice President of Client Strategy for mTab, who advises an array of leading enterprises on how to reign in their fragmented data, extract insights and use it to guide decisions and strategies.  

Q: John, in terms of data management, what do you see as the greatest gating factor hindering businesses from getting control of their data?

Sevec: “The sheer complexity of the data is incredibly daunting to most businesses. It’s like drinking from a firehose and it’s only getting worse. And when you overlay COVID data on top of it all, many brands really have no idea where to start in order to get a handle on it all.”

Q: What is the first step a business should take to reign in their data?

Sevec: “First, is inventorying what you have. There are myriad of sources spitting out a constant flow of data — POS systems, CRM platforms, customer feedback — so identifying what you have coming in is their first step since it’s more than likely fragmented across several technology systems and teams that own it. 

“Once you have an inventory you have to synthesize and centralize it into a single-source data environment. This requires customer experience insight technology so the data can be ingested and mapped in order for it to be overlaid and analyzed for the insights.”

Q: Why is centralizing this data so important to the organization?

Sevec: “First, the organization can now see all the data that is available. Every company still has silos, but there needs to be an approach that allows for consolidation and harmonization rather than having it sit in isolated silos. Second, it provides a single-source of evidence that every team can work from so they are all understanding the customer based on the same intelligence and assumptions. And finally, the data can then be democratized and distributed so every team — from Sales and Marketing to Product and CX to Finance and Market Research — has a holistic view of the behaviors, attitudes, preferences and engagements of the customer to make decisions, set strategy and drive innovation.”

Q: What’s the short-term benefit organizations realize when they synthesize ad democratize their dispersed datasets?

Sevec: “Aside from delivering a consistent, reliable, evidentiary foundation to make decisions, it delivers each team the insight they need. So, for example, Sales and Marketing can find the strongest selling points and product features that customers enjoy and Engineering and Product and determine the weak points with their solutions to focus their innovation efforts on improving those areas. This is all done in a manner so that the C-Suite and leadership are assured that the teams are working off the same foundation of evidence and assumptions.”

Get more insight into how advanced technology can simplify your complex data into a sustainable competitive advantage here.