Capturing and collecting data is important. What is even more important is connecting data points and sources so that they are regularly updated and accessible by all parties within an organization.
This might sound quite logical, right? Why shouldn't everyone be in the loop when it comes to data, especially if different organization departments are involved in the matter (e.g. customer experience)?
Okay, not everyone in the organization needs to know everything. But having the option to grant access to someone who needs it when the occasion arises - such as an agent looking for a detailed customer history in a hurry - significantly eases up and shortens the resolution process.
That would be an ideal scenario. However, many companies are still suffering from a disease called "data silos" in which each department collects data relevant to them, while all other departments are locked out of it. This can create additional friction for both internal and external stakeholders, not to mention the confusion and redundant infrastructure to store data separately.
What exactly are data silos?
Data silos do bear some resemblance to the term they originated from, the one that is usually used for grain storage. Data silos happen when data - just like grain or whatever that is stored in silos - is sectioned or isolated in a way that it is kept from other data assets, making it difficult to access it and combine if need be.
Opportunities for collaboration are often missed due to data silos, leading to inefficiency and stalled growth. Because they give an incomplete view of the business, data silos can seriously hinder decision-making, costing businesses up to 30% of potential annual revenue.
Using various tools to collect and store information about your customers and partners might be useful, but failing to update or fill in the blanks practically cancels out the existing data. On top of that, storing irrelevant or outdated data is just a waste of storage space.
Either you break data silos, or they break you(r business)
The bigger the silo - the harder it gets to break it down, meaning that the longer data is isolated, the more difficult it will be to make use of it. Poor data management can manifest in almost every aspect of the business - whether it's customer experience, IT, or marketing.
It is important to identify and act on the early signs of data silos and not wait until your customers notice and gradually stop buying your product or service. According to statistics, contact center agents spend on average 15% of their time in their day getting to information needed to serve customers. Meanwhile, a frustrated customer waiting on the other end of the line, looking for other options.
The first step to unifying data is to use an integration software that would connect all the different data sources that the company previously used. Once that is done, start looking for an all-in-one data platform that can enable different teams to store their respective data, while also making it available company-wide.
Moving to new software is not easy, especially if a company has been using legacy tools for years. To make the process smoother, try deploying a platform that offers native integrations for the tools you already use.
Finally, after implementing new data software, make sure to slowly go through old or outdated data that might need attention. Only current and accurate data can make a noticeable difference in the way your business operates.