What does the Loch Ness Monster and Customer 360 have in common?
1. Regular sightings have been reported
Like the legends and stories of Loch Ness since the famous photo of 1934, there have been many tales of supposed successful Customer 360 deployments. From blurred photos of customer master profiles from Master Data Management (MDM) tools to CRM footprints in the sand, everyone claims to have had such encounters.
But the myths have been busted more than once with MDM failing in the eyes of business teams to actually deliver. One reason has been the technology of yesteryear hasn't been able to capture real world relationships. Scalability has also been a factor. Transaction and interaction data has traditionally been siloed, with federated views needed to bring that information together.
Today's technologies are built on a foundational big database infrastructure. This allows for unlimited scale so you no longer have to separate transaction data from master data. It can all happen in one place. Other additional technological advances such as cloud now offer anytime, anywhere collaboration. Ensuring that the Customer 360 beast can be augmented, enriched and continuously tracked anywhere it goes.
2. They both Like Lakes
Nessie has been living in her lake for centuries. Hadoop has been around for over 10 years. It's about the same age as MDM is and both grew up together although in different IT households. For the last few years, the term Data Lake has been the the buzz for insights, and ultimately a possible way to get to Customer 360. Many jumped feet first into the concept and ignored cries of how they needed to maintain a reliable data foundation. Now Lakes are being coined "reservoirs" where data is said to be continuously filtered and maintained through MDM disciplines. All of this information still needs to be bottled up and delivered in the form of relevant insights through data-driven apps to business users. Having an entire lake without reliable data would be akin to using Google Street View to continuously scan for Nessie until you found her.
3. The Power of Cloud and Crowd Helps
Speaking of Google ... last year they enlisted the help of the public in a campaign to help find Nessie with an updated Google Maps 360-degree imagery of Loch Ness. Just as amateur monster hunters can now explore the famous body of water from the comfort of their own living rooms, businesses can use the power of cloud-based data-driven applications to enlist the help of field teams to enrich, augment, rank and rate the quality of profiles and relationships. This real-time collaboration ensures that a Customer 360 view is continuously managed and distributed among those that need that information the most.
4. Some Have Given Up
Steve Feltham is a man who spent the last 24 years looking for Nessie and believes he's found the answer, or has concluded that it's time to give up. The pursuit of Customer 360 has not been for the faint of heart. Billions of dollars has been spent a pursuit that seems at times futile and never-ending. But there are those who aren't going to settle for catfish.
5. But Others Persist
Companies are starting to take advantage of modern data management platforms, and data-driven applications to realize the promise. In reality, the view of the Customer is constantly evolving. Like the search for Nessie it's a fun ride, but unlike the Loch Ness monster it's real, it's here, and it's now within reach.