3 min read

The Importance of External Data in the New Normal

Consumption of external (third-party) data is growing everywhere, however the fragmented and diverse data supply is riddled with unique challenges to get to data integration at scale. 

The topic is addressed as a 2-part series.

 The onset of the global pandemic in 2019 demonstrated the connectivity the global economic environment has to the ever changing and complicated mirage of external data both captured and hidden for busy business executives to make critical decisions. Supply chain issues facing companies large and small demonstrate the challenges facing the global marketer who are impacted by events worldwide. Outsourced and customized external data collection, streamlines the data, providing accuracy and timeliness, enhancing agile decision making, while simultaneously managing the use of resources to maximize results.

With external data comes the ability to make the right decisions when facing global trends. Emerging sustainable technologies are a good example. If Tesla is a leading indicator, companies that are promoting a green vision while delivering a capable product may have valuations that are multiple times higher than the biggest competitors combined. As an example of this, besides the annual 10-K statements that show how an organization financially performs there is a similar ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) report. The accuracy of this ESG report may sway institutional investors and customers alike, to adopt new relationships based on their social conscience.

 In recent decades, leading organizations have followed data tech giants such as Google, Apple and Amazon who adapted quickly by diversifying the types and increasing the amount of data they process. Witnessed by the rise in AI/ML investments that can scan through TBs of log file data to analyze trends across the complete lifecycle, as the relationship with the customer evolves. The customer experience and knowledge of where a customer is in the process improves operations and creates an evolving set of digital and physical products that increase loyalty and revenue.

 Over the past ten years, the focus on internal data sources has broken down barriers in organizations to understanding data that was previously disconnected or ignored. And with a shift to open-source and cloud computing which made connecting to data affordable, many companies are ready to truly understand the full context of their business in the global marketplace so that they can predict issues and prepare, rather than just react. As the value of the underlying data is worth more than any individual company, or even country, the rewards for those that get it right are bigger than ever.

 Historically, financial institutions have imported data from external data sources such as Bloomberg or Factset; creating a valuable data trail. Yet this is now common across every industry sector and magnified significantly to the consumer when thinking about the retail sector. Retailers share sales information with their suppliers, such as CPG (Consumer Product Goods) companies to allow them to tailor marketing, promotions and product launches. And the examples that could be listed here are endless. Yet, the challenge no matter the industry, is to recognize that if you can harness the value from external data provides you will achieve a significant competitive advantage.

 In this virtual environment, data management is critical to making smart decisions that pay off in the boardroom and across every layer of the business. In the past, leaders made decisions with less than 40% of the available data, but with new data integration platforms and managed service providers, transparency across varying data sources and formats removes the blind spots that once existed. The companies that are the innovators in their space are supplementing their data with external/third-party datasets to make better strategic decisions that have greater impact.

 Data-sharing and consumption between external parties offers additional operational improvements and the ability to increase revenue by addressing a bigger market. As innovators rush to answer complex issues such as understanding the entire supply chain, or supplier/outlet dependency, they realize there is an almost unlimited set of possible datasets that help drive business decisions. External data mining is both an art and science as these organizations seek to find the right formula for their company to solve the most pressing problems in today’s connected virtual world of data technology.

 Crux offers a managed data as a service to supplement your data engineering needs for integrating external data from many sources. We have pre-built pipelines to hundreds of data sources and over 24,000 datasets to accelerate access to the most used datasets and build specific data pipelines to deliver data in tailored frequencies to the location of their choice (often to a cloud, but we support a range of delivery methods). For some of our larger enterprise customers we manage thousands of datasets across many suppliers to remove the complexity and burden of managing from their teams. Clients look to us to handle the details for them from onboarding, prep and enhancement, delivery, monitoring and maintenance of this data. If you are interested in learning more about how we might be able to help your organization, contact us

This is part 1 in a 2 part series  - click over to read part 2 .

To learn more about Crux and its data engineering and operations offering, contact us. 

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