How do you make sense of over 500 disparate data sources?

Switchboard May 20

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    Unifying and extracting insights from disparate data sources can be a daunting and expensive task if you do it inefficiently. Imagine hiring talented (and expensive!) data scientists and engineers to pore over spreadsheets all day in the hopes that, eventually, you will unlock the power of your data. While many companies have a DIY process to integrate, say, 50-80 data sources and sort through them, what happens when you have over 500? A Switchboard client faced this challenge not too long ago.

    Here’s what happened.

    A large fitness company was drowning in data. They have over 1,000 studios across various regions in North America, and each region has similar yet disparate data sources and formats. In addition to typical multi-channel marketing data, they also had highly granular member information, all the way down to their individual members’ heartbeat! Putting all this data into a single format would give them the insights they needed to attract new members and provide current members with key information on improving and extending their lives. So, they started like most companies do: they hired talented (and expensive) data scientists and engineers to unlock the insights they needed.

    Once they finally got started, they learned what most people do at this point: the traditional, manual or partially-automated ETL (extract, transform, load) process wasn’t unifying their data well enough in real time to make large-scale decisions. They also questioned the accuracy and timeliness of the data, because people can only work so fast. In fact, even when they were six months into the development process, they still didn’t have a solution in sight.

    They decided to embark on acquiring a comprehensive data automation and unification platform to normalize these 500+ disparate ad and social data sources. By embracing data automation, the data engineering team was free to focus on making business decisions from the data rather than manipulating spreadsheets all day.

    Now that the company has embraced data automation and unification, they have deep visibility into their business and can unlock key insights to put a dollar value on any ad spend metric. And, they can reliably predict what kinds of exercises would extend members’ lives and improve their livelihoods.

    By automating data extraction and unification, the marketing team has access to reliable, real-time data and can engage with specific audiences with messages they know will maximize their ROI. Thus, with data automation and unification, they are fueling member growth, providing a more personalized experience, and driving community engagement.

    If you need help unifying your first or second-party data, we can help. Contact us to learn how.

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