Why Data Collection is an Essential Part of Your Business Strategy

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Many organizations are under pressure to drive growth, retain customers, and provide tangible value to stakeholders – data collection is step one. Everyone is looking for ways to do this that are faster, easier, and of course at scale. Enter the idea of a Customer Data Platform (CDPs).

Why CDPs, why now? With the rise in privacy regulations, AI, third-party cookie loss, and heightened customer demands, teams everywhere are looking to drive business impact while remaining compliant, measuring marketing initiatives, and still staying sane. CDPs address these needs. Specifically, they help collect, unify, analyze, and activate customer data, ideally in real time. 

Now for the practical advice. Before teams can gain value from CDPs (composable or otherwise), look first at your customer data. Think of customer data as water for your body. If water is dirty, there could be problems…  Customer data has to be well-rounded and current before it is analyzed, activated, or used. Get this step right. Teams need to have a single source of truth that is dependable and trusted. The point of data collection (not aggregation after the fact) is by far the most powerful place to scale the value and mitigate risk, in your customer relationships. This is particularly critical in regulated industries.

Data Collection is Step One for Business Success

Start with data collection. Are you happy with the data your team has access to and that is being collected? Is it comprehensive (ex: web data, app data, server-side data from the cloud)? Is the data collected in real-time? Data collection is by far the most important step for companies and teams to think through and have a strategy around. It’s the old adage, garbage in, garbage out. If customer data is incomplete, not compliant, or outdated – it’s not going to be overly useful in a marketing campaign. 

Accomplishing this requires a strategy and the tools to match. Beyond having the right data management system and platforms, marketing leaders need to strategize how to build trusted and engaging touchpoints to acquire data within their customer’s path to purchase on owned channels.

Why Mapping Out a Data Collection Strategy Matters Now

There are three key reasons data collection is especially critical now.  

1. New and evolving global privacy regulations.  We all know about CPRA, GDPR, and other laws that highlight the importance of upholding customer privacy. If you use customer data improperly, there is a likelihood of being fined.  Take this seriously.  

A great example of this is the OCR Guidance and the Privacy Rule/Security Rule that is inherent in HIPAA. Data collection is an essential first step to maintaining a HIPAA-compliant data analytics foundation. Without a HIPAA-compliant data collection tool in place prior to fueling an analytics platform or any downstream activation, you introduce unnecessary privacy and compliance risk to your organization. 

2. The rise of AI and machine learning 

There are so many exciting tools and AI applications being developed. Many of these technologies will change how companies operate, but for them to work effectively – the correct 

underlying data is critical. For AI and machine learning to deliver useful outcomes, the data being leveraged is the single most important factor for success. Get started now and ensure the data your team has is compliant, enriched, and up to date.

3. Buyer expectations are forcing change

Companies can either embrace change or die on the vine. Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%. Today’s buyer expects organizations to anticipate their needs and deliver products at the right time, which requires collecting data in a manner that provides optimal insights on your customers. . 

Types of Data to Evaluate 

  • Data collection needs to be inclusive of the landscape where customer data is created AND stored – client-side data (tag-based data collection, typically real-time streaming data) and server-side data (when data is transmitted in the cloud from server to server, or system to system, by streaming or after data has come to rest).  

Examples of when data is transmitted client-side can include:

  • Measuring web activity
  • Personalizing digital experiences
  • Consent data

Examples of server-side data collection can include:

  • E-commerce data
  • Leveraging data from CRM
  • Cloud data warehouses
  • Tracking system
  • Alarm/Alert Projects
  • IoT Projects (Alarm, notify, events, rules, actions)
  • Stock Markets (Bitcoin etc.)
  • Breaking news, Sports Score Updates

Client-side (tag-based) + Server side (API based) Data Collection



The Benefits of Implementing a Data Collection Framework 

A Foundational First-Party Data Infrastructure for Your Business

  • Data is an asset, and every company must now own its data pipeline to ensure customer insights, advertising, and experience are optimized. 

Flexibility to Adapt to Changing Market Dynamics

  • Challenges raised by browser changes, ad blocking, and third-party cookie loss require a tag-based and API-based approach to data collection. Teams need an infrastructure to build back insights that may be lost in the client.

Onboard New Data Sources and Tools

  • Look for a vendor-neutral, foundational layer of your tech stack. Onboarding new data sources quickly, ensuring it’s trusted, and sending it off to fuel the tools that make your business go.

Automation, Data Quality & Analytics

  • Set up automated flows, data inspection and validation, and marketing triggers based on customer data.

Fuel CDP User Profile Operations with Clean Data

  • Customer Data Platforms (profiles, identity, attributes, audiences, predictions, actions) have become mission-critical for relevant, timely, and targeted user experiences. Tealium’s Event Data Framework allows your brand to fuel any CDP with clean, organized, accurate event data for profile enrichment and triggered actions.

Data collection is an essential part of your business strategy – and it’s STEP ONE to focus on and get right. It provides the foundation for growth, customer retention, and stakeholder value. Organizations must prioritize collecting, unifying, analyzing, and activating customer data. Embrace the power of data collection and position your business for success in today’s data-driven landscape.

For more information on data collection and integrating various data sources, check out our free eBook, “Customer Data Integration 101: How to Integrate Data from Different Sources Into Your CDP.”