If you’ve ever had to stop and organize a space before you could get any work done in it, you’ll appreciate this story. Nordstrom VP of Marketing, Data, and Enterprise Data Jason Gowans was featured in a recent Think with Google story. He shared a situation that many business owners can relate to: it was difficult for the retailer to benefit from their data because of the way that data was structured.
Understanding Data Silos
Nordstrom uses multiple messaging channels to connect with their customers, including social media, PPC advertising and more. Each channel collected data separately, resulting in multiple channel silos. If you find yourself looking at one set of reports to understand what is happening on your website, another one for your social media, and a third for your PPC advertising, you can understand exactly what they were going through.
Additionally, Nordstrom has several retail outlets. They have multiple online storefronts, as well as brick and mortar locations. The data for each of these outlets was also collected and analyzed separately, each confined in its own silo.
Having multiple data silos is not in the best interest of the organization. Keeping data in silos makes it almost impossible to develop a coherent, cohesive understanding of what’s going on. Gowans explained that for Nordstrom, data silos resulted in not being able to properly assess the value of each channel and retail outlet.
Shattering the Silos Makes Data Analysis Easier
Once the Nordstrom team understood what the issue was, they took action to improve the situation. They shifted their focus to collecting and organizing data in a way that helped them better achieve their business goals of attracting new customers and keeping their existing customers happy.
This meant using tools that allowed them to analyze data from multiple channels and relevant to multiple retail outlets from a holistic perspective that enables better decision making. For the smaller business owner, this means using data dashboard tools and taking the time on a regular basis to review them, alone or with the assistance of an advisor. Shattering the silos makes it easier to understand what’s happening with your business, what problems need resolution, and what growth opportunities exist. It worked for Nordstrom, and it can work for you.