Here’s a thorny question…and your response may impact the future of
your business in today’s uncertain economy. Is your customer data
helping you, or hurting you?
Specifically, are you using it to better understand your
customers’ needs, wants, and preferences, and then delivering on
those expectations? Is it providing clear and accurate insights into
your operational performance, and showing you faster, more direct
paths to revenue? Or…is it sitting idly in separate systems, growing
more stale and outdated by the minute?
These are tough questions for a reason. Disparate,
disconnected data is often the elephant in the room. It’s the origin
of untold operational pain points and a root cause of lackluster
customer experiences. Ultimately, it’s the antithesis of a
competitive edge, as nothing will sink a business into irrelevance
faster than a lack of tailored, predictive insights. At least not in
today’s high-speed, digital marketplace.
If you’re struggling with your data, this article can help.
We explore a different approach—the concept of keying and linking—
and how it can ease common data management & entity resolution
challenges by putting “always connected,” big-picture customer
insights at your fingertips, while also helping you get
high-performing analytic projects to market in record time.
The painful, high cost of disparate data.
What’s the average annual price tag of poor data quality
according to Gartner?
$12.9 million. Let that sink in for a minute and think about what that
number might be for your business.
Also, messy data can unnecessarily complicate business
operations, while driving poor decision-making, leading to even
higher costs. In a volatile economy, no company can afford to pay
When data is siloed, or stored in different systems that
don’t communicate with each other, it’s hard to make sense of it and
derive strategic, go-forward insights. For example, if marketing and
risk are working from different systems that hold different types of
data, they only have partial views of the customer which hurts their
ability to engage customers. Yet, this sort of disconnect is the
root of much bigger problems.
A disjointed, underwhelming
customer experience. Customers expect
seamless experiences that acknowledge their history to
date with your company, including in-person and online.
But, if you can’t access and connect their data across your
business, you can’t see the big picture. You won’t
understand where they are right now or where they’ve
been, much less what they want or need next. This puts
you at a disadvantage, making your business look slow,
out of touch and steps behind the customer—and your
marketing. Personalized, “in-moment” marketing
based on a customer’s lifestyle, preferences and ability to
pay is becoming table stakes today. If you’re not doing it,
you’ll soon be left behind. According to McKinsey,
“Seventy-one percent of consumers expect companies to deliver
personalized interactions. And 76 percent get frustrated when this
doesn’t happen.” But if your data is siloed, outdated or full of
messy, duplicate files, you can’t personalize anything except
their name (and you better cross your fingers you get that
analytics. Data experts spend nearly 40 percent of
their time cleansing and prepping data for analytic
projects, according to a 2022
survey. This often involves aligning and standardizing
disparate data sources. It’s a time-consuming, yet necessary, task
that can understandably slow down deployment. Yet, the longer it
takes to get your analytic project to market, the more missed
opportunities and increased risk you can expect. It can also
shorten the model’s peak performance window, given today’s
unsteady economy. Put simply, delays cost money.
The issues tied to disparate data extend to other key areas
of business including:
The common thread is this: without holistic, connected views
of your customers, you’ll pay a big price one way or another.
There’s a better way to manage your data. One that puts
360-degree customer views at your fingertips for smarter, more
productive marketing. It puts enriched data for faster, more
predictive marketing analytics. It’s the foundation of high
performing campaigns and offers, increased marketing ROI and
intelligent business growth, in any market.
Entity Management starts with the keying and linking
capabilities within Equifax
Ignite for Prospecting. You can unify and connect your
customer data across all areas of your business within a single,
cloud-based analytics environment, creating a single source of truth.
So, instead of juggling multiple customer profiles associated with
different systems, names, or households, you’re effortlessly
maintaining a single, continuously updated and enriched profile for
every prospect and customer across your business.
It's an elegant solution that simplifies everything and does
the job in far less time than traditional record-matching solutions.
Once implemented, the process is fully automated with capabilities
Quickly and accurately connect similar and dissimilar
records using Equifax match rules that reference historical data.
Return an individual, household and address key on every
record processed, enabling accurate tracking and consolidation of
customer or prospect information.
Identify any changes in data so that you have the freshest
view of your customer regardless of discrepancies in name,
address, or occupancy.
Access stable and fresh information, since Equifax owns most
of the data in the reference file and regularly corroborates with
third-party sources as needed.
The power of third-party data.
Apart from streamlining your internal data management,
keying and linking can also help you easily ingest external data
from third parties so you can build a deeper understanding of your
customers. This can include nuanced details and behaviors such as
their capacity to spend, their likelihood of buying what you’re
selling, their wealth and lifestyle, their employment, income and more.
Ignite for Prospecting is data agnostic with built-in keying and
linking capabilities that do the work for you, automatically
connecting it to the right customer profiles and refreshing it to
ensure you’re working with the most up-to-date insights.
This is a game-changer. By simply widening your lens to
better understand customer interactions, purchase behaviors,
preferences, and more, you can:
See emerging risks and opportunities that might
otherwise go unnoticed.
future needs and make “next best” offers.
Identify, model and target your most profitable customer
Extend personalized offers over a
customer’s preferred mix of marketing channels.
Recognize customers who are at risk of leaving and intervene
Anticipate shifts in demand and
recognize emerging trends.
In other words, having deeper, more connected views of your
customers can help you visualize and focus on what matters most to
your business. That way you can intelligently pivot your strategies to
target your best audiences, at the best moments, with your best
offers, over the best mix of marketing channels.
More predictive analytics, made easier.
Analytic insights can be a tremendous business
differentiator in today’s fluid marketplace. You get these
insights from your prospecting models, scores, and other sources.
But when these analytic tools are powered by messy data, it skews
everything. Your strategies, target audiences and offers become
diluted and far less effective when your data isn’t optimized.
The keying and linking technology within Equifax Ignite
continuously updates and organizes your data, creating a strategic,
high-performing organizational asset that’s “always on” and ready to
fuel your analytic projects. Instead of getting bogged down in data
prep, you simply pick and choose the data and attributes to include in
your projects and move forward. What’s more, Equifax Ignite for
Prospecting also includes a direct feedback loop that returns the
outcomes of your prospecting campaigns into the Equifax Ignite
analytic environment, so you can immediately make smart adjustments
based on the results you’re seeing.
Taken together, these capabilities can help you:
Get prospecting models and scores to market
faster, meaning weeks versus months.
Make quick adjustments based on changing customer
behaviors and economic conditions.
Increase conversions, while reducing cost-per-acquisition
with “always optimized” models and strategies.
Easily experiment with new models, offers, marketing
strategies, and more using the feedback loop.
At the end of the day, working with disparate and
disconnected data is a pain. It can prevent you from having a full
view of your customers and cripples your ability to get ahead of
opportunities, risk, and emerging trends. But it doesn’t have to be
this way. You can easily link your internal data together with
third-party sources to build a wider, more holistic view of your
customers by using the keying and linking technology within Equifax Ignite
for Prospecting. You’ll build better, more actionable views of
your customers’ wants, needs, and preferences and gain the confidence
your business forward with agility and intelligence amid a
fast-changing economic landscape.