By Othmane Lamrani · May 31, 2022 · 12 min read
Data activation. Such a simple, funny-sounding name for something that is anything but simple. Want to have your data act…activate…well, activated?
Then you better understand what a data activation platform is, and which one is right for you.
The data activation market is big and competitive, but what is data activation?
How does it work and why would your business benefit from using a data activation platform?
That’s exactly what I’m going to explain in this guide where I cover the main features, the different steps, and the benefits for each department (Marketing, Customer Success, Sales, Engineering, Business).
After all of the data collecting, data warehousing, and data management, it’s time to put your data to work instead of working for it.
The next logical step for data is data activation.
Data activation is the process of converting data into insights and actions.
The best way to define Data Activation is through a comparison with a car. If you own a car, you know that there are many different ways you can use it – as a means of transportation, as an investment or as an item in your portfolio.
In each case, there is an expected return on investment for using it in that way (better gas mileage for transportation vs. better resale value for investment).
Data is no different.
The value of your company’s data increases exponentially when you use it to make strategic decisions (like where you want to expand) and operational decisions (like how many people you should hire).
A data activation platform is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product that enables companies to manage their data and how it flows through the enterprise.
The platform allows companies to share data across multiple departments and teams in an easy way.
The main purpose of a data activation platform is to transfer data between two different systems.
For instance, if one system has its own API but the other doesn’t, then you need a data activation platform to transfer the data.
A data activation platform can also be used by any company that needs to share information across the organization.
It can be used by companies in any industry, but it’s especially useful for businesses where different departments or teams need access to each other’s data on a regular basis.
The data activation process comprises 4 stages:
As the data activates itself throughout these 4 stages, it becomes more refined and gains more business value.
Each stage serves a distinct objective to help influence the next stage in the process.
Reverse ETL (extract, transform, load) is one type of data activation.
Reverse ETL allows you to transform an existing dataset into a format that can be used by downstream systems and applications.
The idea behind doing it in reverse is that you can consolidate all of your company’s information in one central location, allowing for more efficient analysis and decision-making down the road.
By centralizing your data you are also creating a single source of truth for your organization.
Data activation offers many benefits to organizations:
Let’s dive into the specific use cases of data activation for each team.
Give ownership to the Marketing team to personalize campaigns using all the data at their disposal without the need for engineers.
Segment your audiences based on attributes, behavioral signals, and actions performed during their customer journey.
Gather, clean and transform data from all your sources to converge to the best model for each audience targeted.
Get the data from all sources (CRM, website, SEO, SEA, mails…).
The marketing team will get to see a performance by brand, by product, and by geography, including channels, audiences, and creatives in a single tab.
While content is king, you must also guarantee that your clients receive it at the appropriate moment, which is what Lifecycle Marketing is all about.
However, you can’t perform lifecycle marketing campaigns if you don’t know what happens during the customer’s product lifespan.
If your email tool detects when a consumer makes their first buy, you may send them coupons right away to encourage additional purchases.
Data activation flywheel graph from Forbes
Gather, streamline, and activate all your customer’s data to gain insights and create automated alerts from custom scenarios.
Determine health scores that are specific to your activity and make them actionable for your CS team.
Use your product data and metrics to reduce risk.
By surfacing the usage data in your CRM and other tools, you can run reports or create automated alerts to notify your teams when there is a downward trend in usage so that they can take the best next actions to prevent churn.
Build a resilient data pipeline in order to get data in real-time.
Create timely alerts for Account Managers and Success teams.
CS can use reliable data to take action quickly.
Prioritize and route customer support tickets based on customer usage and contract value.
Make sure that your highest-value customers get the attention and support that they need with minimal latency.
Your stack is made up of more than 10 tools, each of which contains data about the customer, but no one has a complete picture.
This siloed data can be turned into a tool.
It can be integrated into a 360 ° customer profile.
Therefore, the sales team does not have to go to five different tools to understand the customer.
Whether your model is either a Product Qualified Lead (PQL) or Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), build your own custom scoring rules and sync them to your CRMs.
No need to train everyone on SQL, Looker, and spreadsheets.
Sync the data that matters into CRM without engineers.
Stop worrying about integration problems!
You can connect all your visualization tools to all your apps without code.
Focus your energy on configuring pipelines with business teams without coding once to avoid any misunderstanding in models.
Make data easy to access by all company employees!
Connect, model, and automate data in an all-in-one data platform:
Supervise delegated ownership of data as a product to users by assigning them rights and permissions.
Sync the data that matters without engineers.
Stop worrying about integration problems!
Finally, connect all your visualization tools to all your apps with ease.
Your stack is composed of more than tools. Each one has data about your customers; none have the full picture.
With a data activation platform, unify that siloed data into a bespoke 360° customer profile that stays in sync across all tools, so your team doesn’t have to go to five different places to understand their customers.
Make sure that everyone’s looking at the same metrics!
The data activation platform enables Operational analytics.
Operational Analytics is the use of data, predictive analytics, and business intelligence tools to gain insight into business operations and to generate real-time actions thanks to activated data.
It provides a view into what’s going on across your operation.
Data activation platforms can be easy to implement, requiring minimal changes to your current workflow. The platform should be able to integrate with any SaaS or on-premise solution that you’re using currently.
This means that you will want to be able to easily A/B test experiments on different segments of your audience without having to deal with code or other technical challenges.
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