For quite some time now, digital marketing professionals have become passionate about collecting performance data, which are used to improve decision making and increase the relevance of strategies in the eyes of end users.
Today, we’d like to present the latest arrival in the field of data exploitation: reverse ETL. Positioned downstream from your data warehouses, this tool allows you to exploit your first-party data on a variety of destination platforms.
Here is the high-level architecture of the data life cycle, allowing us to situate reverse ETL within this sequence:
For several years, our team of data architects has stressed the importance of the quality of incoming data and of centralization in order to build a pool of data that can be a crucial asset for many stakeholders within an organization. To this end, integration tools have proven themselves to be very useful for adapting to APIs from many sources.
Conversely, destinations also have a variety of APIs available, and it would be very hard to maintain internal applications that can function optimally in the long term. This is where using reverse ETL comes in. It enables you to analyze your available data and transform them into assets as soon as they’re sent to marketing destinations.
Here are a few examples of specific uses of a reverse ETL for data processing. Note that there is a necessary condition to its use, which is that you have a functioning data warehouse at your disposal.
There’s an urban legend that the former engineers of the Salesforce CDP were the originators of a couple of start-ups that are currently emerging in our industry, specifically Census and Hightouch.
Both of these start-ups have the same objective: the quick recovery of dormant data in your data warehouse. They are attempting to distinguish themselves from CDPs (customer data platforms) by offering a smaller, more agile platform than those of their predecessors. To distance themselves even further from CDPs, they are also currently considering giving their technology a different name. For the moment, this platform goes by a couple of monikers, specifically “data activation platform” and “operational analytics.”
For a number of years, reverse ETL was merely one component of the larger CDP solution. But now it’s possible to offer services at a “piece rate.” This means it’s no longer necessary to have a specific budget for marketing to make use of a CDP, an operation that normally requires a concerted strategic effort on the part of many decision makers (in marketing, sales, services, etc.).
However, it should be noted that as opposed to the major integrated CDP platforms (such as those from Adobe or Segment), reverse ETL is not equipped to synchronize sources or destinations in real time.
At Adviso, we design architectures focused on customer data to create 360-degree views of customer intelligence that can become cornerstones for data strategies. We’re confident that reverse ETL will increasingly be added into your technology mix in the future.