How do I select Customer Data Integration Tools?
Q: I’ve been talking to companies about customer data integration (CDI). I’m really getting confused — there’s so much information and every time I sit through another sales presentation, there’s more technology that they say I need that I didn’t even know existed. Do you have any pointers that can make my determination of who and what to choose easier?
A: Trust us when we tell you that you’re not alone (if this makes you feel any better!). First, you need to sit back and really assess your exact needs. Otherwise, your confusion will continue. The fact is that there are so many different ways to approach CDI, and, depending upon your needs the approach can either be very simple or extremely complex. And, we’ve found that CDI technology providers will try to sell you everything they have — up to and including the kitchen sink!
For this reason, we’ve written a white paper on this very topic — Effective Data Management. In it, we outline all of the different technologies, along with the business need that goes along with each of them. We’ve also included the pitfalls that you need to be on the lookout for when choosing your ultimate vendor. We’ll send you a copy so that you have that to guide you through this process. (If any of our other readers would like a copy, just let us know).
Meanwhile, take our advice and step back to really examine and outline your exact needs. Look at your database environment today, as well as what it will look like (as closely as possible) in the future. Examine items such as different combinations of customer relationships across all products, if your offerings will be expanding/contracting in the future, frequency of campaigns, etc. Once you’ve documented all of your requirements and read through our white paper, you will be much better armed for the sales presentations. If you take the time to go through this exercise we promise you’ll get exactly the technology that you need — and not more or less.