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by  Chip Plesnarski

Mastering Media Data

Data that isn’t actionable is worth very little to enterprise media. Here data originates from many disparate sources (channel, device, and more), and is typically managed across siloed systems. Far too frequently, this results in outdated, duplicated, fragmented and often inaccurate information incapable of answering even the most straightforward business questions like, “What digital asset has the best margin?” or “Who is really our best customer based on reoccurring business?”

The enterprise digital transformation journey begins and ends with optimized data that is critical in all aspects of business. So, mastering data management is crucial for sustainable competitiveness, efficiency, and profitability.

Data standardization is especially important in streamlining the flow of information between systems—such as customer relationship management (CRM) and configure/price/quote (CPQ) platforms—in the sales process.

When integrated in a data-optimized configuration, these three solutions work together to improve customer relations and opportunity awareness, to optimize the sales process, and to automate order fulfillment and repetitive processes. Read our latest whitepaper, “Why Media Needs CPQ” to learn more.

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Data mastery options

There are many paths to consider for mastering data in the digital journey, but here we’ll present three options that represent the most common scenarios in enterprise media.

Good

The most “out-of-the-box” approach to ensuring data alignment across solutions is to choose a provider that offers multiple solutions with external software interoperability preconfigured. For example, a CRM provider that also provides a CPQ solution ensures data continuity automatically between the two solutions, with no need for reformatting.

External interoperability also means that that the solution is designed to integrate well with systems—especially partner software providers—which means more viable options to choose from for solutions such as ERP.

However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” software solution for any problem needing to be solved, so while this bundled option represents a good start towards media data management, it does not address the need for greater data optimization as a whole. Consider this a promising beginning but not the end of the optimization journey.

Better

For enterprise media with multiple, disparate sources of data, a better approach is to leverage the power of an interoperable solution and a master data management (MDM) software solution. A cloud MDM solution delivers several benefits, including:

  • Ensures data integrity (with autocorrect and dedupe features)
  • Consolidates data (from multiple systems for singular view and format)
  • Coordinates multiple instances (for a global view of customers)

Master Data Management software also provides enhanced reporting features that go beyond the functionality typically provided as standard with a CRM. Fortunately, there are numerous reputable MDM providers with pre-existing partnerships and interoperability with the top media CRM providers. So, adding MDM builds upon the first step of adopting an integrated CRM-CPQ bundled solution, rather than replacing it.

Best

The reason there is no one-size-fits-all solution is because no two enterprise companies are exactly the same. From internal teams and infrastructure, to offerings and inventory, to client base and designated service areas—each company is unique and positioned at a different place on the path to digital optimization.

Where one company may be further ahead on technology and automation, another may have better customer engagement and insights, while still another has made more progress with cloud migration and IoT preparation.

The more digitally advanced and connected a media company becomes, the greater the need for data optimization. Add to that mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and the challenge of data disparity only increases. The right (and best) solution for any company, at the right place, at the right time is bespoke.

These are exciting times in media, but enterprise companies must demonstrate a level of speed and agility not historically required in order to keep pace with the acceleration of digital progress. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), big data, and cloud are at the core of what makes solutions like CRM, CPQ, MDM, and ERP potentially so powerful.

To ensure that data, cloud, and software are fully interoperable and optimized requires expertise not typically found within the walls of a media enterprise. It is the IT department’s responsibility to expertly manage the infrastructure entrusted to it—not to be masters of big data management and security, AI/ML, cloud, or proprietary software.

This is why the best path for data management mastery is a bespoke solution. External partners can assist by providing an agnostic approach to ensure all existing solutions work together optimally, or to create a new solution if needed.