What is the best way to manage your customer data? In the world of IT, there is an endless number of paths to take and it can be challenging to make decisions. Thank you to Tim Tanner, VP, Digital & Information Services at Polaris and Jill Hand, Business Solutions Manager at Polaris for facilitating on the topic Customer Data Management during our last IT Leadership group meeting. Thank you to Polaris as well, for hosting. 

The meeting started off with Tim Tanner and Jill Hand giving an overview of their current Customer Data Management plan and tactics within Polaris. They have created and implemented a customer data ecosystem, that has increased sales directly. How you may ask? It’s no simple task and doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s how they got started.  

First things first, it’s imperative to determine your needs. Below are the four components that influenced their customer ecosystem with data as the heart. 

Components of a Customer Ecosystem 

  1. Enterprise ownership and decision making 
  2. Creating strong ownership will provide a cross-organizational perspective and align plans to execute a strategic vision. 
  3. Enterprise customer data policy and standards 
  4. This should include approved data sources and types, consumptions criteria, data quality requirements, logging requirements, etc. (slide 18) 
  5. Integrated and efficient technology environment 
  6. Develop a single authoritative source with easy extension and access 
  7. Strong data operations and quality 
  8. This will ensure ongoing quality and enforce policy to maintain a healthy ecosystem 

Challenges may include: 

  • The pace of new data sources 
  • Changing nature of data 
  • Lack of uniformity and consistent sources 
  • No data ownership 
  • Resistance to change 
  • Privacy and Security Risk 
  • High Development Costs 

How do you begin to overcome these challenges?

Creating a customer data hub is one of the most critical things to do. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when creating a CDH: 

  • Create a strategic vision as an entire organization 
  • Pinpoint an internal employee to pinpoint stakeholders 
  • Find out what makes someone a valuable customer 
  • Choose a system to report the data 
  • Create strong rules and guidelines  

Polaris has built a platform to obtain a deeper knowledge of their customers that they are able to use across the enterprise to meet their customers on their terms and allows for multi-channel delivery. This is a huge step for Polaris and their customers, however, this is just the beginning. If you are interested in learning more about what was discussed, check out the slide deck here.  

How has customer data management improved your organization? 

You can find Friday’s slide deck, here.

To learn more about Think IT, click here.