Data is the lifeblood of a modern business—one of the reasons why there is a steady demand for digital sales and marketing. Joris Toonders, an entrepreneur behind the marketing agency Yonego, described data as the “new oil” in the digital economy. He added that data is becoming an immensely untapped valuable resource and a means for the digital economy. Data is more than just a set of information but a tool to improve human lives. For a business to succeed, Toonders pointed out that just knowing the revenue, profit, or cost is not enough. It lies with the microdata, not the macro.
In contrast with Joris’ idea of data, Michael Kershner, founder of ILC, an integrated lighting design and procurement company, said that data is not the “new oil”; time is. In his article, he explains that too much data can cause data overload, leading to “analysis paralysis.” Although data is essential in technology, collecting data alone wastes time. He further explains that humans need more reliable and filtered data for quicker and more intelligent decisions, thus freeing our time to ease the data workload.
Data should be a profit center for business, not a cost center. A business strategy that is not backed by data is just a piece of empty information. Gathering and analyzing data can be quite difficult but it provides an excellent incentive for companies. This is where data synchronization and automation come in.
What is data synchronization?
Data in business can be information such as customers’ names, ages, purchase dates, or sales representatives’ notations, call dispositions and lead scores. Data synchronization is where this data moves and updates from one application to another. There are also times when systems only share one particular data property but not the whole. In a nutshell, data syncing is where system applications share a common database.
Data synchronization is possible because of software integration such as cross-compatibility and multi-platform compatibility integrations. Cross-compatibility integration is where two applications exchange data and functions together while maintaining their independence. Multi-platform compatibility integration allows one application to exchange data and function with multiple applications like HubSpot ecosystem or Zoho Marketplace. Multi-platform integration usually applies to enterprise applications.
What is data automation?
Data automation comes with data synchronization. These two function together to make tasks easier for someone who manages data. Data automation is where you choose what you want to happen to a particular data. For example, upon collecting a phone number from a first-time customer, you may automatically enroll their data (phone number) in an SMS marketing campaign. All the tools integrate with the CRM functions.
There is a minimal manual task between that process, freeing your time to do other jobs that matter. You do not have to enroll their data separately since both tools are synchronized and automated. It may sound a bit complicated, but you can learn more about data synchronization and automation benefits in the following sections.
Benefits of data synchronization
Reduces manual data import and export
When integrating a new application into your existing one, you can easily import or export a data set. There is no manual re-entry as long as both applications grant each other’s access or permission. Whenever there is a change in the database, data synchronization allows system-wide data updates and transfers. It will ease up the record-keeping process and database maintenance for both applications.
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Increases data accuracy
Migrating data before integration usually takes grueling hours of data entry tasks. Data clerks have to manually input one data to another, increasing the likelihood of errors or duplicate data. Data synchronization reduces human-related data entry errors during data migration. It only needs a single-point correction to update all information synchronized within the integration.
Maximizes system applications’ potential
One software alone could only solve one problem at a time. Having a host of integrated applications allows your business to get the most advantage of software applications. For instance, the HubSpot dialer synchronizes contact center data and transforms a CRM into a dialer tool. It can also do contact recognition and auto-capture if supplemented with a Chrome extension. It lets a user automatically detect and call a phone number when browsing a website.
Delivers a clutter-free data
Remember the analysis paralysis mentioned above? Cluttered data can cause your business to improperly function and shoot efforts where it is not needed. Data synchronization imposes standard data processing. You only need to capture and analyze essential data for your sales or support workflows. It will also reduce team data variability to deliver a comprehensive data analysis.
Simplifies reporting and analytics
Data synchronization consolidates data from multiple applications to deliver comprehensive data analysis. Your lead metrics are tied to your sales agent’s KPI while looking at a better understanding of their call metrics. You can also visit web analytics data to see which leads came from paid or organic channels. As someone in a C-level position, you can make better decision-making with a more extensive data perspective.
Benefits of data automation
Data capture made easy
Data automation lets you capture data in many forms. You can collect data from a website form and store them in your CRM database. A chatbot can also collect insights from your prospects like the size of their business, company domain, etc. All relevant data are captured and stored where different applications can use these data to schedule them in a workflow. It lessens the manual labor from data entry to data processing.
Agile and efficient workflows
Not only would the data seamlessly flow from one application to another, but different teams can also do frictionless transactions. Upon generating a lead, several workflows can happen simultaneously. Cold calling can start immediately using an auto-dial app, followed by an SMS drip campaign, and eventually sending them newsletters and offers through email marketing. All these three tasks are executed without a sales agent lifting a finger.
Compliance with the law
Data privacy compliance is critical, especially to healthcare organizations. It is vital to secure clients’ data in private cloud servers. A contact center solution provider also automates their systems to comply with DNC and TCPA laws in the US. It is simply scheduling a dialer not to accidentally call a number on the DNC list or avoid cold calling during outside business hours.
Scalable process over time
Aside from saving your business extra overhead cost for entry-level data positions, data automation also scales quickly over time. Most data automation systems and applications are on a subscription model; upgrading some extra features would not double the current costs. It will avoid a business in a vendor-lock scenario. Data automation is one of the steps in the total digital transformation of a company.
Where should you go from here?
Regardless of its nature, every business should leverage the power of data. Almost any aspect of a business can be “datafy” so a business can run with automation and synchronization. Taking full advantage of software integration would boost efficiency and deliverability over time. Make a sound decision when proper utilization of data. So, as a business owner, your following action items would identify how you use data and what tools you should integrate on them.