In an effort to better know their customers and understand their shopping tendencies, retail organizations are fast at work on collecting consumer information from more disparate sources. This is a challenge, but it can be overcome through effective use of database management systems, and in so doing, businesses can paint a more complete picture of the consumer and use it to improve marketing and sales.
All of the data sources can be a hassle, though. We've moved on from the era when companies could only collect people's information through postal mail and phone interactions. The wealth of new high-tech options available to people today has forced the business world to adapt.
Mobile apps, for instance, present a whole host of difficulties. Millions of people use their mobile phones and tablets for shopping and engaging with brands that send them marketing messages, but they often fill out forms on their devices in a slipshod manner, turning in information that's inaccurate or incomplete. Companies still must find a way to make use of that data as it trickles in.
According to TechRadar, data quality is a major concern in the post-mobile era. Jeffery Brown, product manager at data specialist Infogix, told the news source that the diversity of data sources has made it difficult to collect information or act reliably upon it.
"Diverse data sources have caused data collection efforts to be an extremely complex and time consuming," Brown said. "This means that companies have had to react by throwing additional resources and spending countless cycles trying to ensure the quality of the data that is being collected. With the increase in input sources, the call for mechanisms and processes to manage these vast sources is more important than ever."
This will be a key factor in the years ahead as companies seek to stand out from their competitors. The companies that best utilize a wide range of data sources will be in good shape.