With the gradual rise in digitization across many organizations, the approach towards customer engagement has drastically evolved over the years. Particularly in recent times, there has been an ever-growing demand for organizations to be able to provide unified, effective and customized solutions to users and to further elevate the overall customer experience journey. Before learning how customer 360 views can accelerate digital transformation for organizations, it is important to understand the meaning behind a customer 360 view.
Beckoning Digital Transformation
In simple terms, it is having easy access to unified, end-to-end views of a customer’s entire journey with the organization including and not limited to customer touch points across various departments involved in creating a stronger customer relationship. Whereas, data virtualization is a technology which allows users to connect, combine and consume data from various disparate data sources stored on cloud, on-premise or hybrid-cloud systems to a single, unified view and then allowing data consumption by users.
So, why is a customer 360 view in integration with data virtualization really important for businesses? One of the main benefits is that a 360 customer view provides the ability to strategically plan targeted sales and marketing initiatives for customers by utilizing analytics from existing data. Another advantage is that customer 360 views help organizations gain a holistic view of their customer needs, requirements and behaviors. These insights assist the organization in delivering personalized experiences based on specific preferences. The ability to provide tailored solutions for customers based on the insights from unified data not only helps in increasing customer experience but also saves time, overall costs and resources for the organization.
Customer 360 Views – The Early Days
This ability to access unified data with ease wasn’t the case a few years ago. The old way of creating a unified view included physically copying the customer data across various systems and sources and storing the data in separate data repositories. Then, the stored data would be cleaned and processed and made available for reporting and analytics purposes. As easy as this process sounds, it was a painstaking process that required a longer processing period, more resources leading to a higher cost to the organization. Also, not to forget that this data keeps continuously evolving with every new point of contact from the customer in terms of purchases, modifications and so on. Additionally, customer data could only be copied periodically rather than continuously, hence access to up-to-date consolidated data was a challenge and not to mention the longer latency period for data access.
Customer 360 Views Using the Denodo Platform
While the concept of a customer 360 view sounds simple, it is much harder to execute for most enterprises. In recent times, relying only on customer 360 views would not suffice for organizations due to the large and growing proportion of interactions that are occurring outside known sources or systems such as social media, web interactions and emails not linked to the organization’s CRM. Moreover, traditional data management methods also face challenges in terms of costly deployment, slow engagement times and delays in time-to-market.
These costs and the lack of agility have led to the rapid growth of data virtualization as the new model, establishing a service layer into which data from all sources can be referenced but not actually stored. For customer 360, this allows the aggregation of data from all sources into usable and valuable views. Business users and applications are then able to call upon this virtual layer to draw the data from the sources as and when needed, and only if needed. The data virtualization layer aggregates data warehouses, data sources, newsfeeds, as well as analytics, all in near-real-time.
In conclusion, data virtualization provides a modernized customer 360 view by supporting on-demand integration and making it possible to show zero-latency data which in turn leads to enabling better consumer engagement, more targeted sales and marketing opportunities, timely decision making and of course, better overall customer satisfaction for organizations.
For more insights on how data virtualization bridges the gap with customer 360 views, check out our discussion with Robin Tandon, for more information on All Things Data!
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