Q Spark Group

If customers are so important, why is customer data so flawed?

Customer 360

Why is it so hard to have a 360 view of your customers? Because businesses store data in silos. Marketing holds prospect data. Operations holds customer and account data. How can marketing be truly personalized and effective if marketing doesn’t know what’s happening in the customer relationship? It can’t. 

Effective marketing campaigns require complete knowledge of people and businesses, both as customers and prospects. A Customer 360 solution must include marketing and prospect data as well as operational customer data. But this has been known for some time and yet it is still a problem. Because it is not just a technology problem, it’s a business problem. A Customer 360 shouldn’t just store data, it should manage business processes and rules for the use of that data. 

A Customer 360 isn’t a single product you can buy, it’s a solution. It must span across technologies that manage customer data - Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Master Data Management (MDM) to name a few. That’s what Q Spark Group delivers. We have worked for 25 years on customer data. We built the first MDM customer data product. We developed a data-centric CDP that created a deeper customer 360. We have extensive experience in implementing these technologies. And now we are delivering pre-built solutions that utilize those technologies to finally deliver what organizations have wanted all along - a true Customer 360.

Customer 360 Solutions

Businesses like to store data in functional silos. Marketing stores prospect data, operations stores customer data. How can marketing be truly personalized if marketers don’t know what’s happening with existing customer relationships? It can’t. Effective marketing campaigns require complete knowledge of people and businesses as both customers and prospects. A customer 360 must include marketing and prospect data as well as operational customer data. But this has been known for some time and yet it is still a problem. Until now. Q Spark Group specialize in delivering 360 solutions by unifying data management and marketing technologies.

Customer Data Platform

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) arose in the last 10 years to help marketers track customer data for targeting and campaigns. But the capabilities of CDPs are wide ranging. Some have identity resolution, some don’t. Some have analytics and segmentation, others don’t. 

The primary challenge with CDPs is identity resolution. Many CDPs relied on tag management to resolve identities of prospects and customers. But with changing regulations regarding the use of cookies, this is a less reliable means of identification. Even more challenging is matching prospect data with enterprise customer data to get the full picture.

Cloud MDM

Master Data Management

Master Data Management (MDM) has been around for 25 years. Since its inception, it’s focused on managing customer data and establishing a single version of the truth for a customer record. 

The challenge is that there are often multiple versions of the truth, depending on who’s asking. MDM technologies lack context and nuance to determine the best version of the truth for different use cases.

QSG’s MDM solution addresses these modern needs. We focus beyond just implementing MDM technology. Our focus is using master data to deliver business value by building processes and rules that help determine context. We’re experts in MDM. We developed the first Customer MDM product 25 years ago, and we’ve implemented it and integrated it with CDPs. We’re the right partner to help you optimize MDM.


A lot of organizations are asking “do I need a CDP or an MDM?” It isn’t CDP vs. MDM. Most companies need both. MDM is supposed to create the enterprise golden record of the customer, to be used in all functions. CDPs manage prospect and customer data for marketing processes. 

The biggest challenge most organizations face is that while they need both technologies, the vendors for these technologies believe their products can do it all. CDP vendors will tell you they can do MDM better, and you don’t need one. MDM vendors will claim to be the only real Customer 360 and they can support marketing functions. And due to that fact, they haven’t productized integration between their technologies. There isn’t a clean fit.

Informatica MDM

Composable Customer Data Platform

Composable CDPs have become a hot topic in the past 2 years. The idea behind them is to use enterprise-grade technologies - data platforms, data science platforms and analytic tools, and more - to build a Customer Data Platform that is better able to manage data. 

The real challenge is “managing data”. It’s true that CDPs don’t have the enterprise data management features required to effectively manage customer and prospect data. However, it’s also true that building a CDP from scratch isn’t easy. Enterprise-grade data management tools are the foundation, but user experience, analytic insights, and business process knowledge are also required.

The Q Spark Difference

Q Spark Group are experts in customer data. Our team members have developed and implemented Customer Data Platforms and Master Data Management software solutions. We understand the business processes and logic that drive a Customer 360. We are also experts in analytics and business applications. We always pair data experts with analytics and business experts to ensure that the Customer 360 is infused with insights and in the right context to solve business needs. Our implementation methodology, The Spark, is designed to ensure that expertise is effective and delivers quick time to value.

Take the Data-Insight-Action Self-Assessment

Everyone says being data-driven is a journey. But how can you plan that journey if you don’t know where you are starting from? It is essential to know how mature you are in terms of data management, analytics and acting on insights. It is transformative to know how mature you are in integrating those 3 disciplines.

Take 2 minutes and fill out 12 questions. You will get both an individual maturity assessment for data, insights and actions, and a collective assessment across all three disciplines. Recommended next steps to mature Data-Insights-Actions are offered.

Get a Free Customer 360 Plan

We know 360s. We’ll understand your environment and produce a plan for you to expand to a complete 360 view

Sign up for SparkPlug
Q Spark Group's Monthly Newsletter

QSG’s monthly newsletter is filled with insights, best practices, and success stories from our customers’ experiences in utilizing modern technology to improve their business.