So what is the data silo challenge? Data generated in many industries is complex and presents data challenges for companies. It has become difficult to analyze these data using traditional tools. Usually, structured data is managed through customized databases. But a vast amount of unstructured data is held in separate, functionally specific warehouses or embedded within software, making total extraction problematic for companies.
As an example of the data silo challenge, we have included a graphic that we use in the aviation industry. It helps identify the sources of information. We can then determine whether the data is internal or external, structured or not. It helps to visualize the core problem when determining where the data is that would enable a company to develop a customer engagement strategy.
What is needed is a capability that enables data to be used by humans and machines – not just for analytics or business applications. It is possible to use data to make a difference. It’s about using algorithms and machine learning to process data more quickly. And by this means, seamlessly arrive at insights and answers, when and where they are needed.
There are many touchpoints on a customer’s journey with a company. Throughout their journey, there are many opportunities to capture data that can then be used to enhance the customer’s experience. There are systems anonymously tracking individual customer movements. Unfortunately, it is likely that much of the data will not be related to any specific customer. A word of caution here: anonymous customer tracking is in a legal grey area, especially without explicit customer consent.
However, it is possible to capture unique customer information. It can then be used to provide a more personalized service as part of the company’s larger customer engagement strategy. This can be done through the existing company process data capture or with the company’s mobile app, in which the customer can opt-in. It could also be done by data sharing with the company’s partners.
Now that we laid out the problem, we’ll continue the discussion of a solution is our next commentary.