Does siloed data continue to haunt your customer insights strategies? Many companies still house e-commerce and sales data apart from geographic consumption data, survey research results apart from customer behavioral data. The larger the organization, with more locations and brands around the world, the more of a challenge this becomes.

Consumers are online more than ever, leaving a trail of information behind them that brands must use for decision-making. Leaving these various data streams unconnected can result in a lack of audience understanding. An inability to combine data streams (often embedded in the company’s legacy systems and historical ways of doing things) coupled with the sheer amount of consumer data now available creates incredible frustration and struggle. 

Decision-makers are left with insights that have holes, and organizational inefficiencies as various functions work separately on overlapping data activities. Siloed data creates an environment where internal departments compete against one another for data and the delivery of insights to stakeholders. This is a surefire way to kill progress and innovation.

Companies seeking greater efficiencies, cost, and time savings will need to reduce duplicative internal functions and centralize processes across departments, including bringing data and insights functionally under the same operational umbrella.

Insights collaboration in real life

Isn’t it time to start collaborating? One of Gartner’s top recommendations for 2021 is that companies must find ways to “share customer and market insights across the organization to inform a continuous experience and reduce redundancy.” At a fundamental level, this means bringing together all the data streams for holistic insights that give a cohesive, in-depth customer view. To take it a step further, true collaboration means providing seamless access to these insights across your organization and stakeholders.

Innovative brands are looking for ways to change the paradigm. We recently worked with the Insights Team at a multinational oil and gas company to more efficiently use customer insights to drive marketing actions across the business. They knew they needed to change their approach to reach a key goal of putting customers at the heart of the company.

At a very high level, this initiative included using technology to integrate and harmonize primary research, business-intelligence, third-party data sources, and global retail tracker data to create an entirely new marketing-planning tool. Launched across markets, the new solution replaced siloed, static market research with fully integrated, engaging access to insights. Uniting stakeholders across 64 countries, it also streamlined access to bespoke analysis and facilitated collaborative working. This approach has fundamentally changed how insights drive marketing actions across the company’s business.

The success of initiatives like this should make us take note. There are better ways of doing things, and some brands succeeding are future-proofing the insights functions within their organizations. By using technology to get data out of silos across an organization, and then by sharing insights from this harmonized data far and wide, true collaboration can begin. Competing internally for the “insights crown” only harms innovation, service and progress - three goals that every company should be prioritizing. Let’s start collaborating!