We live in a world where virtually everything is a source of data. Yes, I mean the type of world depicted in the opening credits of the movie, The Matrix – walls of mostly indecipherable information streaming in from all directions floating around in the air. This may seem like an extreme analogy to some, after all, it is just a movie, right? However, with the advent of housing data in “the cloud”, data actually is all around us. Data is constantly appearing, streaming, calculating and disappearing based on each one of our actions and interactions. So how do we differentiate between taking the blue pill, waking up with real data in our hands, and the red pill, traveling down the damaged data Matrix-like rabbit hole of duplicate and partial information?
Not only is data generated by highly-connected first-world countries, such as the U.S., technology has become so accessible that it’s reaching the far corners of civilization, meaning that the global data pool is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), data is growing by 40% per year into the next decade. Most people rely on the technology in their lives for almost every action they take, from job performance to financial well-being to personal relationships. However, with this accessibility and dependence comes the increasing expectation of a personalized customer experience, plus the ongoing threat to the security of the sensitive information that we’ve now released into “the cloud.”
As an organization that wants to reach your customers in a meaningful way to create lasting relationships, you’re very likely aware of the abundance of data that’s at your disposal, as well as its potential pitfalls. While the constant data feed that each and every one of your customers creates is great for gaining insights about their preferences and behavior, all of this information is coming your way from different sources: your mobile application, your desktop website, your customer service team, your marketing team and more. With all of this amazing information at your fingertips, you’d think this data world would only help you on your way to success, but unfortunately that isn’t so.
The struggle to identify what data creates the true picture of your customers amongst all of the duplicative, outdated and partial junk is real for you. You have experts for each data system in your business that attempt to keep the data in order, but it’s rarely cohesive, causing conflict between the systems and distrust amongst the departments that use them. One-third of a group of 200 IT decision-makers had some doubt about whether the data they were using was the correct data for their purposes. When the quality of your data is left in the hands of systems that don’t speak the same language, you can’t implement an organization-wide data quality effort.
The Matrix-like data world that we live in has become a reality and the time to proactively address your data challenges is dwindling. Lack of data isn’t the issue, the quality and usability of it, however, has yet to be grasped. A Master Data Management (MDM) solution is business and IT user-friendly, consolidating and cleansing data from your varying systems to create a single source for your customer information that can be applied across all your existing systems. In a world where relying on your data is vital to connecting with customers, taking the blue pill to the path of data quality will put the real data in your hands to drive your business forward into the digital future.