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Marketing and Sales Need Data on Tap (DaaS)

Marketers are familiar—deluged, even—with cloud-based XaaS offerings that promise to provide more ease, efficiency, and value to their departments.  At the 10th annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality (CDOIQ) Symposium this month, DaaS—Data as a Service—took center stage.  

It was, after all, a conference about data—for people who work with data for a living.

“Data is the new lifeblood of the economy, of the organization, and so forth; now the question is: How do you get that blood circulating and pumping—and how do you make it better when you’re actually in trouble, when the blood that you have isn’t enough, when you’re hemorrhaging?” Ramon Chen, CMO of Redwood City enterprise data-management startup Reltio, posited to Symposium attendees.  “Data as a Service is a form of transfusion, [and] companies are now loading their datasets into data clouds.”

Presenting a well-attended evening conference session on the “CDO Blueprint for Modern Data Management,” Chen argued that linking sales and marketing teams to DaaS and providing real-time connectivity is vital to being and remaining competitive.

“The way companies use [customer] data today is very much in the dark ages,” said Chen, calling out martech vendors who send a monthly batch file—with likely outdated information—which then has to be run through ETL.  “The latency is a big issue for agility, [and] the accuracy of the data is also not satisfactory.  [Furthermore,] the business user has no way of complaining that the data is not good, because once the data is loaded into the system, the sales teams and marketing teams will start using it.”

Decrying the fact that this has long been the best that marketing and sales departments can do in terms of data and analytics, Chen went on to say that the demand for real-time DaaS is—and has long been—present.

“Customers and enterprises are saying ‘Come on!  There’s real-time connectivity to all sorts of things in my … life!” said Chen.  “Data is under constant flux and change…; before you can even do predictive analytics, before you can even do machine learning, if your data is not 100% reliable … you’re really kidding yourself in the things [you want to] be doing.”

Conversely, with cloud-hosted, real-time, well- and continually managed data, said Chen, sales and marketing teams—and, indeed, the entire organization—can more efficiently and effectively target their goals because of the instantaneous shareability and collaboration that DaaS fosters.  Consequently, said Chen, it is only the DaaS-enabled organization that can effectively scale.

“If you can get data from a data provider where they’re always keeping the data up to date and you’re just scanning and searching for the data you want … and paying for it by the drink or whatever licensing terms that you have … why can’t you then just share that data with the rest of your organization?” asked Chen rhetorically.  “If you didn’t have that Data-as-a-Service connectivity, … you copy and paste the name, you go in LinkedIn, and you go and do a search.  It’s not incredibly arduous, but … let’s say you were in marketing and you were trying to figure out some additional … details to segment your customer base to figure out who to target.  That is not a scalable object.”

Real-time DaaS connectivity becomes all the more important, said Chen, in highly regulated sectors (which, incidentally, represented a substantial portion of Symposium attendees).

“If you’re a salesperson walking into a pharmaceutical office, in a typical CRM process today, … you’re not allowed to talk to them” if you don’t have your contact’s name and information, said Chen.  “You can’t drop off a sample.  [But] with Data as a Service, they search that data[,] they find the guy, … and that’s a productivity gain.  Real-time access to the data is essential.”

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