Design & Technology October 17, 2014
How to Re-purpose Data from Existing Internal Systems
Many organisations have hidden treasure buried deep in internal databases that can be re-purposed for digital touchpoints. The challenge lies in unearthing this information, and making it accessible.
Often, when multiple internal databases are used and divisions/markets are using disparate versions of marketing collateral, consistency, version control and workflow errors are common place. These databases need to be centralised and exposed, with interfaces added to enable the data to be monitored and used.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, such as SAP, can be integrated with digital and marketing tools to enable the consolidation and effective sharing of information – all of which can help inform your communications, improve engagement and optimise lead generation.
When considering solutions, it’s important to consider where data should live. For example, pricing information shouldn’t live in a content management system, as it is not a marketers’ remit to determine prices. However, whichever system it does live in would need to be easily accessed, so marketers can find and use the information (and know that it is accurate).
Solutions to aggregate data from many systems into a common interface include:
- A Master Data Management (MDM) system, comprising of one or more systems that contain the definitive information.
- Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which enables multiple computers and systems within a network to cooperate with each other.
- Application Programming Interface (API) can be used to enable the integration of new features into existing applications, or to share data between otherwise distinct applications.
- Content Management System (CMS) – marketing-led content can be stored and managed in a centralised CMS system.
- Digital Asset Management (DAM) can act as a centralised library of product images, MSDS and label information.