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An effective Single Source of Truth for your Customer Data

Patrick Schumacher
Patrick Schumacher
November 25, 2020
An effective Single Source of Truth for your Customer Data

Single Source of Truth (SSOT) is a concept used to ensure that everyone in an organization bases business decisions on the same data. Creating a single source of truth is straightforward. To put an SSOT in place, an organization must provide relevant personnel with one source that stores the data points they need.

Data-driven decision making has placed never-before-seen levels of importance on collecting and analyzing data. While acting on data-derived business intelligence is essential for competitive brands today, companies often spend far too much time debating which numbers, invariably from different sources, are the right numbers to use. Metrics from social platforms may paint one picture of a company’s target demographics while vendor feedback or online questionnaires may say something entirely different.

It can only be a good thing if your team is all working in the knowledge that things aren’t able to be swept under the rug or lost to confusing admin. It’s also the most optimal way to deal with your data and crucial if that data is incoming from a dozen different directions. Consider it a state of nirvana for all your company’s information.

Knowledge is power and having more information to share with every member of your team will result in greater business intelligence. "Truth” doesn’t necessarily mean that all the data you’ve put into your single source has to be exact, but that, when viewed in unison, it provides a truer look at your business.

For example, maybe your brand has two hundred thousand followers as shown by social media metrics. But, when you run a survey, you find out a quarter of your followers are in a country you don’t ship to, and that a good portion of them are bots. You need both these information sources to get the best overall picture of your brand, and to figure out how to remedy this situation. For example, now you know most of your followers are international, you can either hone in on local efforts or seriously consider broadening your shipping destinations. You have, therefore, climbed the road to business betterment.

Benefits of a Single Source of Truth

To use an analogy, a single source of the truth structure empowers business solutions in the same way that electricity powers a car. Pure electricity keeps the vehicle running smoothly while maximizing efficiency and minimizing engine wear. Deeply discharged cells and contact corrosion, leaving you with a rough driving experience.

The same theory can apply to organizations and the development of large-scale industrial assets. Subpar data going in will lead to subpar decisions.

A SSOT guides robust data management and strategic intelligence applications. When everyone is working from a SSOT, data sources are kept up to date and relevant to business decisions.

Other material benefits include:

  • No duplicate data entries or version control issues
  • Timely data values at the right moment
  • Reduced time spent validating records and data types
  • Improved data warehouse and intelligence
  • Improved communication and productivity

Data accuracy is an important principle, whether dictating a company-wide policy or department-based procedures.

When a company can trust its information architecture, everyone can look to one place to produce business intelligence reports. People can spend less time preparing data  and more time analyzing data.

Organizations that don’t invest in a  Single Source of Truth, often face various performance hampering challenges:

  • Workflow issues: Without a Customer Success Single Source of Truth in place, everyone across an organization doesn’t have equally easy access to the data. Customer Success Managers often have to depend on data engineers or analysts to bring them the desired data. This requires an individual to wait for a response for a long time, potentially affecting their business. This results in the analysis of data getting delayed by hours and in fact, by days in some cases.
  • Manual Inputs: Customer Success teams in a quest of making data available to everyone, often make a lot of manual data transfer inputs. Such a manual input is highly prone to errors and easily hampers the overall efficiency of not only the business but also the employee working on it.
  • Difficulty in Innovating: Innovation requires a clear idea or an image of where the organization stands in the market and the eyes of the customer. Fragmented data slows down the entire process of developing and implementing useful customer-centric features that could easily market the product in a much better way leading to an improved customer base.
  • Fragmented Data: Fragmented data doesn’t communicate well. Having competing versions of data while making important business decisions is a sure indication of disjointed views among the teams.
  • Data Silos: When only a few or a particular group of people can access a set of data or resources it’s called a Data Silo. It affects the productivity and efficiency of an organization by preventing everyone from having access to data which might be crucial for them.
  • Poor Identification of Customers: Missing out on essential customer data increases your chances of not identifying potential upsell or churn. Fulfilling your campaigns and filling your sales funnel is all about finding ways to search out for new potential customers and converting them into a brand loyalist.

Why a Single Source of Truth is Critical for Customer Engagement Data

Establishing a single source of truth is a challenge for modern Customer Success Managers. Once implemented, though, a SSOT offers so many benefits that it becomes difficult to envision how you once worked without it.

Improved Data Quality

When managing your customer engagement data using a number of different platforms, it is difficult to ensure each source delivers accurate and updated data. Each platform may track different data sources. Some may update in real-time while others pull data that is hours or days old.

When you aggregate and validate data in a single source, you can ensure uniformity with regards to how and when your reports are updated, improving data quality and analysis in the process. This, in turn, helps Customer Success Managers increase their confidence in data analysis conclusions.

More Relevant and Timely Marketing

Introducing a single source of truth into your marketing set-up makes it possible to fill gaps in your understanding of the customer journey. Analyzing social media engagement, email engagement, website engagement, and offline interactions in isolation tells you very little about how these channels work together to influence purchasing decisions. With unified data, you get the full context pertaining to how different audience touchpoints influence consumers’ decision-making.

360 View of the Customer

360 view of the customer empowers you to get a holistic insight into your customer’s data. Grab all your facts and figures in this single dashboard that includes the profile of your clients, product usage, financial details, task management, and emerging engagement trends.

Further, you can configure the dashboard widgets to create a significant and dynamic view that is tailored to your demands. Here, you can observe your client’s data by phases, sections, or CSMs. Additionally, you can set alerts for a customer’s portfolio or account. On top of that, you can filter, relevant data, and take necessary actions accordingly.

Customer Segmentation

With the help of exceptional customer segmentation, your day has just become simpler. It will permit you to make automatic actions. Over and above, you can easily form more user assemblies by imbibing with their behavior forms, demographics, and other factors, for which you don’t really have to code.

Once these customer segments have been created, this will organically refresh and render you with the exact facets of meeting your guidelines.

Customer Health Score

It is a given that one size does not fit all. In a few simple clicks, you can charge weights across varied facets and create a customer health score dashboard that works for you. Further, you can use and trace it as an action initiator. Get to know if the account is weak, moderate, or strong by the highly efficient tool that does it for you.  An intelligent and data-enriching customer data platform such as journy.io could be a solution moving forward, where every customer journey — on website, platforms and mobile apps — is monitored and first-party data enrichments (such as health score, feature adoption, churn detection and other engagement metrics) are computed.

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