In general, marketers are good at managing their data systems in-house on a day-to-day basis, says Alan Weber, founder and CEO of Marketing Analytics Group, a database/direct marketing consultancy in Prairie Village, Kan. But the skill sets used to create day-to-day reports are different than those needed to assess the information in a database to make strategic decisions about what data stays, what gets deleted and what gets combined to create new data elements, he explains. The IT department’s desire to keep the database in-house is not a good enough reason to tackle data integration on your own.
When considering any data integration project, especially the integration of offline and online data, Weber advises marketers to carefully consider the experience levels of its internal resources. If you think you have the right team in place, it helps to first manually analyze a small subset of your online data offline, to see if your staff can understand the information presented as well as how to automate the integration of this data into a multichannel database. If they can handle a slice of your data, he says, then likely they can handle integration of the entire data stream.
Weber can be reached at (913) 381-0256.