research swipe file data unification and management

Research Swipe File: Data Unification & Management

research swipe file data unification and management

As an organization grows, disconnected data can impact everything from internal communication and decision-making to the entire customer experience.

So how are marketers unifying and managing data to improve campaign effectiveness?

To help answer this question, Ascend2 and our Research Partners fielded Data Unification & Management survey. We thank the 297 marketers who responded to this survey between August 16, 2021 and August 26, 2021.

Research highlights:

  • So why are marketers setting out to unify data? It is all about the customer according to marketers who list improving customer engagement and improving customer experience as their top goals.
  • It turns out that creating a centralized view of data isn’t easy… A 71% majority of marketers agree that implementing a strategy to unify data is complicated.
  • But what is the toughest part of getting data unified? According to over one-third of marketers, issues like maintaining data quality are getting in the way.

View the research report.

What are marketers’ most important goals?

Disjointed and poorly managed data can cause ripple effects throughout an organization and can be a driving factor in how a customer interacts with and experiences a brand. That is why marketers are focused on improving customer engagement and the overall customer experience by unifying and properly managing data, according to 46% and 43% of those surveyed, respectively.


How do marketers rate the success of their data unification?

A 60% majority of marketing professionals have experienced some success at unifying and managing data in order to achieve their strategic goals like improving the customer experience. Just over one-third (35%) of those surveyed would classify their success as “best-in-class” compared to the competition, while only 5% say their data unification efforts have been unsuccessful.


What is most essential in unifying and managing data?

Maintaining consistently accurate and relevant data is considered a most essential element to implementing a data unification and management strategy according to 36% of marketers. Factors concerning how data is handled are also considered critical to success for the 28% of marketers who listed making unified data actionable and storing and managing data as top essential elements.

essential elements for data unification chart

The complexity of implementing a data unification strategy

Organizations large and small now have access to increasingly large amounts of data across many sources, and the strategic application of this data to effectively improve marketing efforts can be complex. 71% of marketers agree, reporting that implementing a strategy to unify and manage data is complicated, with 17% of those surveyed listing the task as extremely complicated.


What are the specific challenges to implementation?

With a majority of marketers reporting that implementing a data unification strategy is complex, which aspects of the process do they find the most challenging? Over one-third (35%) of marketers are challenged by maintaining data quality, and 32% of marketers report that cross-department cooperation creates difficulties during this process.

challenges to data unification chart

How is the effectiveness of unified data changing?

Solutions for organizing data and creating a unified view of the customer are rapidly improving, and marketers are experiencing the benefits of this with 84% of those surveyed reporting an increase in the effectiveness of unified and strategically managed data over the past year. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of those surveyed describe this increase as significant.


What are the critical components of a data unification and management solution?

Over one-quarter (27%) of marketers report that finding an appropriate data unification and management solution is essential to the successful execution of a strategy, but what are the key components they are looking for in a solution? Ease of use, integration with existing technology, and overall cost to manage are critical factors to consider according to 49%, 44%, and 43% of marketers surveyed, respectively.


View the research report.

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