Data activation

What is Data Activation? The ultimate guide with 3 use cases per team

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).

What is Data Activation?

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).

What is a Data Activation platform?

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.

RestApp Data connection framework

The stages of Data Activation

The data activation process comprises 4 stages:

  1. Collection: This is the stage where you bring all your sources together. It’s about bringing together all the different datasets that you’ve collected from various different sources.
  2. Analysis: This is the stage where you start to explore the data and look for patterns and relationships within it. For example, if you were looking at customer information, then this would be where you’d start breaking down their demographic information to get a better understanding of them as people.
  3. Execution: This is where you put your analysis into practice by using it to make decisions and take action on behalf of your business or organization. For example, if your business was looking at customer loyalty then this would be where they’d decide what kind of loyalty scheme they wanted to offer their customers based on their analysis of their behavior (which we’ll talk about next).
  4. Measurement: This is where you quantify how well your decisions have worked out by measuring whether or not they’re achieving their goals. Measurement helps provide insights into areas where they can improve performance or make changes in strategy or policy.

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.

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.”

Ronald Coase

Reverse ETL Enables Data Activation

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.

“Reverse ETL is a set of methods or processes that sync data from a data warehouse to operational tools like CRM, CMS, product, or any business tool (Slack, Google Sheet, etc).”

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.

Visuel Article Reverse ETL 2

Data Activation Benefits

Data activation offers many benefits to organizations:

  • Improve data usage by enabling companies to reuse existing data instead of having to re-enter it manually every time they want to use it in another application or process. This helps reduce costs by eliminating duplication of effort while ensuring that current information is always available in line with regulatory requirements.
  • Improve efficiency by automating repetitive tasks that would otherwise require manual intervention, freeing up time for other activities such as analysis or reporting on newly-acquired information sources (e.g., social media).
  • Increase transparency by making your internal processes transparent, you’ll gain valuable insight into how your organization works — from risk management strategies to customer service processes — which helps identify opportunities for improvement and build better products and services for customers. For example, by integrating internal information about employees’ performance with external feedback provided by employees.
  • Increase speed by using predictive models, you can make faster decisions based on real-time information rather than waiting for reports or manual analysis. For example, by using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze sensor data collected from smartphones, insurance companies can personalize policies based on a customer’s driving habits rather than using historical data to determine premiums.
  • Reduce costs by using machine learning algorithms, you can reduce costs by eliminating manual reviews of large amounts of data without losing accuracy or effectiveness in your analysis processes. It also reduces time spent by humans on repetitive tasks such as manually reviewing reports and analyzing them manually instead of automating these tasks using AI algorithms that can perform these tasks faster than human beings ever could.

Let’s dive into the specific use cases of data activation for each team.

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by activating insights from raw data sources.

Data Activation for Marketing team

Build customized audiences and create customized marketing campaigns for different audiences

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.

Centralize marketing data to get insights you can finally trust

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.

Personalized Lifecycle Marketing: Send the right message at the right time!

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.

Marketing case data activation

Data activation flywheel graph from Forbes

Data Activation for Customer Success team

Identify high-likely churners

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.

Reduce support response times with operational alert

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 support tickets

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.

Data Activation for the Sales team

Get a 360° view of your customer

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.

Maximize lead conversions and revenue by prioritizing leads using customer data using your own scoring rules

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.

Combine all your customer’s data to ensure accuracy and consistency in reporting across all your business apps

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.

Data Activation for the Engineering team

Empower your business team

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!

Unlock the power of a modern data stack

Connect, model, and automate data in an all-in-one data platform: 

  • Connect: Stop wasting time building API and connectors
  • Model: Transform and clean your data with our No/Low Code interface
  • Automate: Sync automatically your data to empower your business teams

Manage all the Domains of your organization

Supervise delegated ownership of data as a product to users by assigning them rights and permissions.

Data Activation for the Business team

Combine all your data to ensure accuracy and consistency in reporting across all your business apps

Sync the data that matters without engineers.

Stop worrying about integration problems!

Finally, connect all your visualization tools to all your apps with ease.

A 360° overview of your business with trustworthy metrics

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!

Use real-time data for operational analytics

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.

What to Look for in a Data Activation Platform?

  • Ability to integrate: The first thing to look for in a data activation platform is the ability to integrate with existing systems.

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.

  • Testing capabilities: Next, make sure the platform offers testing capabilities. Data activation platforms are not only meant for use at scale, but also for testing purposes.

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.

  • Easy to use: Lastly, make sure that it’s easy for your team members to use and operate the platform. You’ll want them to be able to quickly learn how everything works and start implementing experiments right away.


At RestApp, we’re building a Data Activation Platform for modern data teams with our large built-in library of connectors to databases data warehouses and business apps.

We have designed our next-gen data modeling editor to be intuitive and easy to use.

If you’re interested in starting with connecting all your favorite tools, check out the RestApp website or try it for free with a sample dataset.

Discover the next-gen end-to-end data pipeline platform with our built-in No Code SQL, Python and NoSQL functions. Data modeling has never been easier and safer thanks to the No Code revolution, so you can simply create your data pipelines with drag-and-drop functions and stop wasting your time by coding what can now be done in minutes! 

Play Video about Analytics Engineers - Data Pipeline Feature - #1

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Othmane Lamrani
Othmane Lamrani
Othmane is the Growth Manager of RestApp. He's passionate about Entrepreneurship, Data, and Growth. His previous experience in data-position made him have a data-driven vision of acquisition marketing.

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