In the mid-1990s, Starbucks, America’s coffee giant partnered with Pepsi and launched Mazagran, a coffee-flavored soft drink that was sold in grocery stores. Starbucks’ market research team told its product team that their customers want a coffee-flavored drink that is easily accessible. What they did not tell them is that customers wanted it to resemble a milkshake and not soda. Customers described the taste as ‘interesting’ at best. The product was a spectacular failure and was pulled of aisles after the initial curiosity failed. A classic example of communicating (or not) insufficient and incorrect data and insights.
That is what happens when people don’t talk to people and well, tools don’t talk to tools. That’s scary. And that is exactly what data silos are.
A data silo typically consists of stored data that is not available to the entire organization, but only to some parts of it, such as departments, teams, or even individual employees, and is thus siloed within the organization. They are contrary to the approach of a data warehouse.
Data silos may seem harmless, but siloed data creates barriers to information sharing and collaboration across departments. Due to inconsistencies in data that may overlap across silos, data quality often suffers. When data is siloed, it’s also hard for leaders to get a holistic view of company data.
But what causes data silos?
As organizations add new technology, SaaS services, or a separate data warehouse, different functional units may have their own database or pull from different data sources. It becomes common to have multiple information systems within the same business that are not tied together in a meaningful way leading to silos.
Often, information isn’t shared because one of the teams in the organization doesn’t understand how other teams would benefit from the data. As such, data silos emerge, even if unintentionally.
Over time, organizations grow. With more employees, branches, and offices, it can create structural divisions. As more people join the organization, they may bring different approaches to data. While this can lead to new insights, it can also have a negative impact if there isn’t a strong data management plan in place. The larger the organization, the more likely it is to create data silos, whether it happens organically or whether teams want to hold on to information to maintain control.
Data silo limits the view of the data for the team. When you have multiple organizational silos, it can lead to significant problems in how people and teams work efficiently toward the common goal because it compromises data integrity and leads to poor business decisions.
Data silos in sales
Data is an indispensable component of successful sales teams. Inaccurate data has the ultimate power of breaking the sales team and putting the entire organization downhill.
All sales teams maintain data. Some teams maintain it locally on Excel sheets, notepads, or documents. Most of the time, they maintain the list of prospects in an excel spreadsheet, the minutes of the meeting on the notepad, and almost never together. That makes it a data silo for an individual. Now imagine that happening with your entire sales team.
But wait, I have a CRM you would say. Well, that makes it a little better. All your data is stored in a single warehouse with all its variables together to make a sense of it, together. But, you would agree, having data hardly makes sense if it is not real-time and transparent.
Democratizing sales data is one of the biggest problems that we are trying to solve with Compass. Locally saved data is almost always inaccessible, real-time, and opaque. With Compass, the entire sales team can access data in real-time. This means you do not have to wait till the end of the day to see how many deals you have closed or how much revenue you have clocked in. The best part, your sales reps can also have a real-time view of their earning that motivates them. With real-time nudges, they also have easy and real-time access to their earning potential. Your sales managers and leaders no longer have to wait for hours and pray with all their might for correct sales data. They can configure reports in real-time.
Your data can never be real-time even if one aspect of your entire process is manual, which makes it prone to errors, slow and tedious. To rule that out, Compass integrates with your existing systems and CRMs via API and webhooks to make sure that your data is always updated. Compass is equipped with ready integrations like Close and Salesforce.
Sales teams can no longer afford to run on intuition. Nor can it thrive on inaccurate, delayed, and siloed data. A data-driven sales team can save your organization time, energy, and money — resources that your company likely doesn’t have to waste and can align your sales team and streamline your sales process in a way that maximizes revenue and business impact.
Make the most of your data with Compass, today.