Digital marketing, when done correctly, is a very data-oriented process. This is the case not only before decisions are made, but after campaigns are run and need to be analyzed. It’s important to be able to accurately sort and organize your data to draw meaningful conclusions. How do you really know how well your marketing performed?
You need a data system in order to know the true value of your marketing. Let’s look at the 3 different types of data systems you can employ right now.

1. Enterprise Resource Planning SysteM

An enterprise resource planning system, or ERP, is a large, complex data management system that captures live data in order to be easily integrated into all the different functions of your business. Oracle is a very popular example of an ERP system. These systems are typically not flexible and require programming to modify, which can be expensive.
Businesses love ERP systems because of their live integrations with other systems. You can gain actionable insights in real-time. These systems oftentimes offer beautiful visualizations and templatized reports for easy access to important information. ERP systems are recommended for large businesses with many products, services, channels, and customers.

2. Data Warehousing

Data warehousing is a data system that routinely pulls data from internal and external data sources at an interval that makes sense for your business. For instance, if you have a report that you need every Friday, you can schedule the data to be pulled Friday morning. It isn’t live, but it is very convenient.
This system can be complex, but certainly not as complex as an ERP. A very popular example of a data warehouse is Tableau.
Data warehousing is a very popular option for businesses who want the tools, visualizations, and complex reporting of an Enterprise Resource Planning System, but do not have the money or resources to build one.

3. Individual Data Stores

You are likely very familiar with individual data stores, as these are smaller snapshots of data with lots of flexibility and little complexity. The most commonly used individual datastore is a spreadsheet such as excel. 
Individual data stores are inexpensive and very accessible. They are great for analyzing small bits of data. However, these data stores are siloed and disconnected from online or cloud-based information, which can mean incomplete data. 
Due to the disconnected nature of these systems, you may download a spreadsheet on Tuesday that tells a very different story that the spreadsheet you coworker downloaded on Wednesday. These siloed data sources are not ideal for companies that have lots of data and require their cohesive communication and understanding.


Each system has its time and place to shine. If your business does not have very much data, an individual datastore should serve fine. However, if you’re an online business with several products or services, a data warehouse may be more appropriate. Of course, if your company has the resources to gather live data with an ERP, that’s a great option as well.
Happy marketing!

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