WTF is a Data Spaghetti

By Redmill Solutions
Date: April 12, 2022
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Untangling data spaghetti

Data is the backbone of global brands in the modern age. From figures on finance to counting customers, this wealth of information is central to the decision-making process of companies. And for those brands looking at optimising advertising returns, this is no different.

Pulling together these many threads of information – data held on different software, in different countries – can be a mammoth task, but when the amount of data in a company increases, the quality of the decision making improves. That is, however, until it reaches a certain point of saturation, and something very strange happens.

We’ve observed that after this tipping point, the quality of decision making starts to decrease and data gets tangled, clouded and overwhelming. This is what we like to call data spaghetti.


The base ingredients

How do you make data spaghetti?

First, add a handful of spreadsheets, a dash of data sets from around the globe and then a cupful of differing naming taxonomies. Mix until well and truly disparate. The end result should be near impossible to untangle or make sense of.

The inseparable mess of spreadsheets that global brands are often left with is not the fault of one single piece of software, one single process, or one single taxonomy. Instead, it is the amalgamation of all issues, and without a clear overview, brands cannot confidently make decisions.


Pasta la vista!

So how can these strands be untangled into something more digestible? Let’s look at some solutions:

Getting Global and local teams closer

Operational differences between global and local teams in large brands are nothing new, but the result of miscommunications and misunderstandings can lead to inconsistent data. Whether a centralised or hands-off approach is used when managing these local teams, good communication is a must.

Being aware of localised differences – whether they be around distinctions in customs, vernacular or culture – can help to better integrate local data into the global entity. Less friction across global teams leads to a better global brand identity, which in turn can lead to more consistent data. This does not mean forcing local teams to work in a generic ‘global’ format, but instead the global team has to appreciate and adapt to understand and use the local ways of working.

Singing from the same datasheets

Gathering all your disparate datasets together can seem an immense task, but luckily there are solutions that can help you to harmonise your data on local, global and combined levels. True understanding can be gained from the granular detail that platforms, like our TukTuk Platform, can offer.

But be warned – this software is not the be-all and end-all. Rigorous and constantly updated data management methods are needed to get the full potential and analysis from these management platforms. Data integration that is fluid, flexible and effective can help brands identify and predict consumer journeys and trends on different levels, both micro and macro.

Bringing it all together

Though separating these strands of data is useful, the true power comes from when they are reassembled. This newly integrated and standardised collection of up-to-date data, therefore, becomes a single source of data truth – an easily analysed comprehensive overview of a global operation that can assist with making the best business decisions. A data lasagne if you like; different data types perfectly combined and precisely layered to create one dish.

The challenges that global brands face can seem insurmountable at times – the remote teams, disparate data silos and local differences can add up to cloud the vision of any company. The solution to this is to put local teams first, listen to their needs and adjust systems to accommodate them. A specialist media management platform can then help with the heavy data lifting, freeing teams up to focus on what really matters.

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