What is Data Activation?

What is Data Activation?

7min • Dec 12, 2023

Oussama Ghanmi

Oussama Ghanmi

Founder, CEO, and CPO

Want to discover how to unlock the power of Data Activation for better business Outcomes ? You're in the right place! Let's get to the heart of the matter and define what it is and why it is essential.

Demystifying Data Activation

What is Data Activation?

In an era marked by quick digital transformation, businesses are powered by increasingly complex data stacks. Though the technology infrastructure varies across industries, we have been witnessing the emergence of what we call the modern data stack. A set of tools built around cloud datawarehouses like Snowflake or Bigquery enabling businesses to access data management solutions.

A modern data stack typically comprises four crucial elements:

  • Data Production: The origin point of data creation, a combination of event-based and first party data, enriched by data science models

  • Data Integration: Merging data from various sources into a single, comprehensive view in the data warehouse, using ETL processes.

  • Data Centralisation and Refinement: Cleansing and shaping data into a digestible form, usually within a data warehouse. Data can be organized into meaningful segments like Customer Profiles, Transactions and Product Interactions.

  • Data Analytics: Where data is processed, interpreted, and utilized for business intelligence.

With companies relying on an average of 100 Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, data usually comes from diverse categories like web interactions, server logs, SaaS platforms, advertising services, and in-house databases. This voluminous data is then channeled into a centralized data warehouse to gain a complete understanding of customer behaviors and preferences.

However, businesses face a pervasive issue: data locked away in these warehouses is often accessible only to those skilled in SQL queries. Simultaneously, dashboards and reports primarily serve the C-suite and other decision-makers, leaving a large swathe of business teams without the ability to take data-driven actions.

Enter Data Activation— a paradigm shift in how we interact with data, functioning as the keystone of a modern data stack.

Why Data Activation is a Game-Changer

Data Activation takes your business from merely understanding data to acting upon it. In essence, it liberates the stored knowledge in your data warehouse, making it actionable across the organization. It becomes the bedrock for building data-centric cultures, linking analytical efforts directly to tangible business results.

Traditionally, data warehouses are repositories for rich customer insights, including metrics like:

  • Recent sign-ups

  • Cart abandonment rate

  • Annual revenue

  • Session durations

  • Interactions per visit

  • And many more.

It also includes calculated metrics, such as the Customer lifetime value or a Lead or customer scoring model.

Having these insights but not making them actionable is like having a sports car and never taking it out of the garage. Data Activation eradicates this bottleneck, streamlining the path from data to decision-making.

The Technical Challenges and Solutions

Moving data from a warehouse into business applications is a daunting task. In the past, this required costly engineering resources to build custom APIs and data pipelines, a complex process that is neither scalable nor sustainable.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) were one of the first technologies attempting to solve this problem but ended up creating an additional 'data truth' layer, apart from the original data warehouse. This is a problematic situation, especially for industries governed by stringent data privacy regulations.

Infrastructure as a Platform (iPaaS) tools, another alternative, also fell short, offering only point-to-point data movement with intricate workflows.

Reverse ETL as the Catalyst for Data Activation

Unlike other tools that claim to enable Data Activation, Reverse ETL stands out as the most straightforward and effective solution. It acts as a seamless conduit between your data warehouse and various business tools, whether they be for sales, marketing, or customer service. By simplifying the data mapping process, Reverse ETL accelerates "time-to-value," offering more extensive data accessibility.

The combination of cloud solutions such as data warehouse and reverse ETL form Composable CDPs. It denotes a collection of interconnected technologies that facilitate the consolidation of data from diverse marketing sources, the creation of prospect and customer segments, and their subsequent activation.

Practical Applications of Data Activation

Empowering Marketing Teams

Traditional marketing metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Cost Per Impression (CPI) are essential but not exhaustive. Data Activation allows marketers to go beyond these metrics by syncing dynamically updated customer data from the warehouse to ad platforms. Marketing teams no longer need to go to the data team every time they want to experiment with a new target audience. This gives them the agility to create more personalized and effective campaigns on multiple platforms.

Sales Enablement

For sales teams, context is king. Data Activation, powered by Reverse ETL, offers a 360-degree view of each customer's journey. This comprehensive data can sync directly to CRMs like Salesforce or Hubspot, empowering sales teams with real-time insights that can be instantly acted upon.

Enhancing Customer Support

In customer support, the timely availability of data can make or break the customer experience. Data Activation enables customer support teams to receive automated, real-time updates from the data warehouse directly into ticketing systems, thereby increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Reps can prioritize and route support tickets based on customer activity, lifetime value (LTV), and other criteria

Relieving data teams

A Composable CDP empowers business teams with the ability to perform more actions on their own. Data teams don’t need to waste time building and maintaining data pipelines or writing SQL queries. Instead, they simply delegate data ownership to other teams and let them work on their own.

The Future of Data Activation

As Data Activation gains traction, it's crucial to choose a platform that offers flexibility, scalability, and a wide variety of integrations. Look for a Data Activation Platform that enables you to work with different types of data objects, events, and notifications while also facilitating file uploads and task management.

👉🏼 Consult our step-by-step guide to data activation to learn more about this subject.

Get Started Today

Our Composable CDP offers a straightforward and efficient approach to Data Activation. Leverage your existing data models with over 40 different integrations available, and a visual audience builder designed for non-technical users. Starting your journey towards Data Activation has never been easier or more accessible.

Empower your organization to turn data into actionable insights today. After all, in a data-driven world, activating your data is not just an option—it's a necessity.

👀 Want to see how data activation can transform your operations? Get a sneak peek from one of our experts to see how we can help you sync data to all your business tools, without any code.

About the authors

Oussama Ghanmi

Oussama Ghanmi

Founder, CEO, and CPO

A graduate of CentraleSupélec and the University of Waterloo, Oussama is a data specialist: his experience allows him to fully understand the challenges and issues faced by companies in the field of data science. Throughout his career, Oussama worked as a Data Scientist Consultant at Eleven Strategy Consultants for over 3 years. He then served as Chief Data & Analytics Officer from 2018 to 2020 at Ornikar. Afterward, he held the position of Director of Analytics and Data Marketing at M13h, where he assisted several companies in leveraging their internal data by creating dedicated platforms.

Table of content

  • Demystifying Data Activation
  • What is Data Activation?
  • Why Data Activation is a Game-Changer
  • The Technical Challenges and Solutions
  • Practical Applications of Data Activation
  • The Future of Data Activation

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