Data Quality

Best practices for managing big data for CDPs

Businesses rely on their Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to provide them with a single view of their customer. In order to provide maximum effectiveness of advertising and marketing dollars, CDPs need to ensure they are feeding clean, accurate data through to their customers. Our resident expert shares insights on why accurate data is so crucial to CDPs and how they partner with data providers to provide the best possible product to their clients.

Meet the expert
Sal Pecoraro
Sal Pecoraro
SVP Technology Solutions

In his role as Senior Vice President of Technology Solutions, Sal is engaged in managing a corporate-wide product vision and strategy to create and maintain leading-edge marketing products and services that are consistent across all divisions. He is known throughout the industry for his consultative approach to identifying solutions for clients’ database marketing and data processing needs.


Why is accurate data so crucial when it comes to customers getting the most value out of their CDP?

CDPs need to be able to provide their clients with identity resolution capabilities – that is the No. 1 capability most customers are looking for from their CDP. High-quality data can help boost identity resolution by:

Providing accurate identity markers

A good data provider will be able to boost the data in a CDP by taking the device data of a company’s consumer base, for instance, and linking it to an expanded universe of data points. For example, if a consumer visits a B2B company’s website on their smartphone browser, the company only has that datapoint with the consumer. However, supplementing with third-party data can give the company a useable email address, phone number and other datapoints to follow-up with the lead.

Preventing data decay

Data changes rapidly, rendering what was once an accurate record unusable. An email address or device ID for a consumer can change in an instant. A quality data provider will be able to update records with verified data to ensure data is being constantly linked as a consumer’s contact information and interests change. For example, the Data Axle platform delivers updates to data in real-time, ensuring that linkages remain intact and data doesn’t decay over time.


Fifty-eight percent of marketers say CDPs are “very important” for getting value out of customer data. How can CDPs ensure they are best serving their clients?

CDP clients value first-party data because consumers gave it to them, but their first-party data can’t give them the insights they need to paint a 360 degree view of their customer. First-party data, which is collected directly from the customer, varies wildly in accuracy depending on how it’s gathered – there is no universal standard and there’s a lot of user error. It’s also limited in scope. This data tells companies about visitors’ behaviors on the company website or app but it can’t tell them what they do once they leave, what other interests they have, what other sites they visit or what else they purchase. CDP clients depend on CDP’s to fill in the gaps – which means that CDPs need to establish relationships with third-party data providers.

As we discussed, a big part of this is identity resolution. Once the customer has concrete knowledge of their customer, they can use it to create more effective marketing strategies and communications. Personalization, effective copy and compelling imagery, nurture campaigns — none of these tactics can be used if you don’t have identity resolution and actionable insights from clean data.

The best thing a CDP can do to support their customer is:

  • Provide accurate data to support identity resolution to help orchestrate that individual along the appropriate journey.
  • Help the customer solve for identity resolution through an identity graph enabling a seamless customer experience.

What is an Identity Graph?

An identity graph (ID graph) is a single database that collects datapoints from across multiple channels and matches them to an individual customer. Businesses from across many industries, from retail to financial services, use ID graphs as a solution to provide a clear picture about which products customers are interested in, what their behaviors are, and what their paths to purchase look like.


How do companies use identity graphs to connect with consumers?

  • Identify new prospects: With an accurate ID graph, companies get a better view of who their customers are, as opposed to who they think they are. Companies can use enhanced modeling to identify new target audiences and discover consumer attributes that they haven’t been including in their targeting efforts.
  • Target more effectively: Consumers expect personalized experiences that are relevant to their lifestyle. ID graphs provide the insight needed to effectively segment audiences and boost conversion rates through optimized messaging.
  • Build a 360-degree view of their customers: ID graphs help companies view the customer as a whole, as opposed to a “match” against individual attributes. This helps companies’ piece together how their product or service fits into the bigger picture for each consumer. By enhancing records with a consumer’s complete profile, companies can be focused when developing and communicating their marketing message, marketers can build an emotional connection with their audiences, which can translate into increased loyalty and better lifetime value.


How often should CDP data be updated?

What CDPs are promising to their customer base is real-time, transactional data. In order to keep ID graphs accurate and actionable, CDPs need to update their data in real-time to ensure identities are being resolved into the correct record.

Working with a data partner, like Data Axle, can help a CDP fulfill this promise to their customers. We offer real-time data delivered through seven APIs to ensure a smooth, constant flow of accurate data.


How can CDPs select the right data partner for their needs?

This is a tough question because CDPs are unique entities, with different capabilities, workflows and needs.

For example, a CDP that has a particular focus on B2B, Healthcare of Finance may require understanding of both an individual’s business profile and personal consumer profile. They may need a product like B2C Link, which is able to provide sophisticated ID resolution by linking business individuals and executive’s firmographic data with their individual consumer demographic data. This means the CDP can provide the best possible service to clients while also cutting down on multiple data partnerships.

For CDPs that want to add machine learning applications to their data, they need a partner who can go above and beyond by adding normalized data fields to provide lift in their models.

Some CDPs might work with data partners by installing the enhanced data source directly in the platform while others may simply call a real-time API on-demand. Some CDPs have execution capabilities, and some do not. Those nuances dictate what CDP’s need from a data partner. But the basis remains the same – CDPs need to look for a partner who has the capability to offer high quality demographic and firmographic data.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our newsletter.