In today’s business world, there are many areas where data plays a vital role. Most businesses have entire departments or employees devoted to collecting, analyzing, and integrating data. As technology has improved, various platforms have become a popular way to collect data from sources, sync data into one central warehouse, and automate data processes.
Terms like data integration and data collection are likely familiar to those in business. However, there are other terms used to describe the in-between steps of optimizing the data in your warehouse, like data enrichment, data enhancement, and data cleansing or hygiene.
Understanding these terms, what they mean, and how they can help you optimize your use of data to turn information into action is key to helping your business thrive. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about these terms and how they can improve your business.
The Biggest Difference
The two most popular terms concerning data enhancement and data enrichment. While it may seem like there’s a difference between enhancement and enrichment, they refer to the same process. However, it’s vital not to get these terms confused with another popular term known as data cleansing.
Different providers may refer to data enhancement or data enrichment, but they’re both concerned with improving or adding to internal data. Let’s break down these terms below.
Data Enrichment and Enhancement
Data enrichment and data enhancement both refer to the process of improving the data you pull from customer profiles and adding more data to it. This enables your customers to have a better, more personalized experience and in turn, can boost sales.
Data enrichment and enhancement may be difficult to visualize in practical use, so here is an example. Let’s say you have a customer with information like their name, address, and other businesses they work with or buy products from. While this data is helpful, it’s not enough for a completely personalized experience.
Data enrichment comes in and adds further personal information to the preexisting data, like their email address, phone number, preferences, age, marital status, and more. This not only allows your customer to enjoy a unique personal experience, but it allows you to alter your marketing tactics and advertisements based on what you know about the customer.
Here’s another way to think about it. Most data pulled from sources and stored in your warehouse is incomplete. It offers a smaller view of who the customer is. This is a great start, but you need more information to get a big picture view and answer specific questions about the customer so you can optimize their user experience.
It’s important not to get these terms confused with data cleansing. Data cleansing, also known as data hygiene, is the process of cleaning your data. Data hygiene helps solve problems that occur when two pieces of data provide contrasting information or you need to audit your records.
It’s common for data enhancement and enrichment to work together with data cleansing. For instance, if customer information is missing like their phone number or last name, data enrichment helps restore this information, resulting in improved data hygiene and cleaner data records! While they can sometimes work hand in hand, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two.
Data Enrichment and Reverse ETL
Data enrichment is only as good as what you do with it. In other words, you can add personalized information to your customer’s profiles, but unless you use this information to improve how you market towards them, you’re wasting your time.
Data enrichment is an important step in the process of creating a better customer experience and leading to more sales, but there’s a gap in how this information is taken from the data warehouses and put in the hands of people that can turn this data into action. A process known as reverse ETL closes the gap.
Reverse ETL is the process of copying data from the data warehouse and relaying it to relevant departments in your business. Data concerning what customers have already bought would be relayed to your marketing team so they know not to market that product anymore. This extends to other areas of your business as well and helps improve overall operational analytics.
When it comes to reverse ETL and operational analytics, not all tools are made equal. Especially if you’re a smaller business, you need resources that fit your needs and are easy to use. That’s where our tools come in handy! We cater specifically to local businesses and smaller companies and offer data warehouse syncing and reverse ETL capabilities that are low code and easy to understand. Learn more here.