It’s no exaggeration to say that data may be the most important part of how you make business decisions. It may be even more accurate to say that the quality of the data and how you use it are more important. Data inform your company’s direction continually, so it must be complete and accurate.
Traditionally, data integration was handled with the ETL model: extract, transform, and load. You “extract” the data from your raw sources such as mobile and web apps. It’s then “transformed” into a useable form on a secondary server. From there, it’s “loaded” into a data warehouse. Your data warehouse stores data from relational databases and transactional systems, ready to be pulled out and analyzed as needed.
It’s been that way since the 1970s, so it’s a proven model. In the last couple of decades, though, the amount of data being collected has gone through the roof. A better, more efficient way to use that vast amount of data was needed.
Cloud data warehouses have changed the order to “extract,” “load,” and “transform.” ELT takes your extracted raw data and loads it into a cloud data warehouse without transforming it first. The transformations to the data then take place within the data warehouse after the fact, allowing for deep analysis and building advanced predictive models.
The problem is that this is time-consuming and error-prone. What if there was a smoother, more elegant solution? There’s always been a “last mile” gap between the data warehouse and those who will be putting that data to use. What if the data you’ve extracted to your warehouse could be more efficiently loaded into a third-party system for transformation and integration?
That is Reverse ETL. Your data warehouse becomes the source of the data, rather than the destination. The third-party system receiving the data then does all the heavy lifting to transform it into something usable. It’s one thing to make decisions based on your data; it’s another entirely to make those insights truly useful and actionable. Let’s take a look at these five ways Reverse ETL supports data integration to turn insights into action.
1. Customer Experience
The whole point of all this data collection is to boost profits, and this can’t be done without happy customers. At every customer touchpoint, data can be collected. Reverse ETL makes accurate data accessible to every team downstream, taking the customer experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
2. Customer Service
Your customer service team is your boots-on-the-ground force that can make or break the customer experience. They’re increasingly relied on for a variety of customer interactions, and they need relevant customer data they can use on the spot. Reverse ETL provides the high-quality data needed for your team to keep up with customer demands and quickly provide their best service.
3. Customer Expectations
Today’s customer has become accustomed to a greater level of personalization in their transactions than ever before. It’s hard to create that personalized experience if you aren’t working from solid, actionable data. Reverse ETL takes this data, enriches it, and provides insights directly to the teams that manage marketing, sales, and support.
4. Operational Analytics
Analytics isn’t new. The same core data infrastructure drives traditional analytics and operational analytics. The difference is that operational analytics is a more direct usage of the data to make faster decisions. This is made possible because Reverse ETL feeds insights from analytics into teams’ usual workflow, making those insights directly actionable.
5. Broader Team Support
With expectations so high, your teams need the tools to enhance those customer experiences. The easiest way to make this happen is to integrate the required data into tools they’re already using every day. Reverse ETL syncs your data with those tools, placing actionable insights right at their fingertips. Before you start with Reverse ETL, you need to completely understand what is customer data integration.
6. Stronger Marketing Teams
If your marketing team is going to attract and convert new customers, they need to respond to new developments quickly with accurate information. A data-informed campaign can flex and provide the personalized experience today’s customers expect. Reverse ETL helps avoid missed opportunities by merging product, sales, and support data to drive customer segmentation.
7. Robust Data Teams
Which would you rather have your data team doing? Patching up and maintaining custom data integration tools, or performing the cutting-edge work they crave? Reverse ETL allows your data team to respond quickly to the needs of your other departments and the time to make system-wide improvements. This means less time spent trying to clean up point-to-point integrations while achieving a simpler data architecture.
Streamline Your Data
Your organization may have some growing pains but data integration doesn’t have to be one of them. As you add new apps and systems, Reverse ETL is the only option for making actionable data useable system-wide and in real-time. It’s time to make maximum use of your data collection.