Use data more effectively by placing it in the cloud

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Shannon Duffy, Data.com
Shannon Duffy, Data.com

The way data is consumed today has changed dramatically from the past. From new access points to an increased number of data sources, making sense of it all and managing it in a scalable and affordable way has become a bigger challenge than ever before. Marketing teams must overcome this challenge to be successful, especially as the transition to a social world comes with the expectation of a better customer experience.

How do companies go about tackling this data problem? One solution is to transition to the cloud. Although cloud computing has been a talking point for more than 10 years, it turns out that the multibillion-dollar business data industry missed its cue. While companies are adopting the cloud for business processes such as CRM, most continue to rely on a traditional onsite approach to business data.

Managing business data in the cloud allows for greater accessibility and unification.

The multitenant cloud model allows companies of all sizes to access the same business information, updated in real time, that is integrated directly in their CRM system. The cloud allows marketers to build a campaign around combined social and business data, update and clean that data in real time and access it anywhere with mobile devices.

When it comes to data access, marketers need to be able to work with data on their terms, whether at the office, at home or on the go. With a cloud approach, business data is accessible regardless of where you are, allowing for collaboration and an increase in overall marketing effectiveness.

The second benefit the cloud brings is data unification. The cloud unifies both the people and the information necessary for success, while remaining offline allows for fragmented data islands to form. Unification of social, business contact and corporate data is simply not possible without taking advantage of the cloud.

By having a holistic view of your customer integrated directly into your CRM, marketers can build more effective programs that deliver growth for their companies.

By combining access with unification in the cloud, marketers have a clear sense of how to make data actionable and can approach their goals with the highest level of confidence.

Business data does not need to be an organizational headache. Managed correctly, great data can be a tremendous difference maker in any organization.

Shannon Duffy is the senior director of marketing at Data.com, a Salesforce.com subsidiary.

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