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The Stairway To Data Activation
What comes before and after data activation.
This is part 2 of the series titled Data Activation Is Not The Goal.
So I recently ran a poll on LinkedIn asking folks what Data Activation meant to them…
And I was glad that a majority of people agreed that Data Activation is equivalent to running data-powered campaigns and not just running reverse ETL jobs or building and syncing audiences. It’s worth noting that “campaigns” is a catch-all term that also includes growth experiments.
If you disagree, I want to share a perspective that might change your mind. And even if it doesn't, it might give you something to think about.
This quick guide aims to provide a robust overview of the activities that lead to Data Activation, and the activities that follow. Please note that this will only make sense to you if you’re familiar with the basics of data activation in the context of the modern data stack – if you’re not, I encourage you to begin here.
And if you’re ready, let’s jump in.
Here's how I define Data Activation:
Data Activation refers to the act of running data-powered campaigns and experiments to deliver personalization.
This implies two things:
Before data is activated, multiple teams need to collaborate to collect, model, and analyze data.
And after data is activated, teams must collect more data, build more models, and run more analyses.
Data Activation, therefore, takes place only after the foundational infrastructure has been set up which entails a series of activities, none of which amounts to “activating” data.
Whereas, once data activation is set in motion, well, that’s when growth and data teams can begin to work their magic by collaboratively building the most efficient experiences powered by the freshest data
In simple terms, a lot needs to be done before and after data is activated to deliver personalization that has a measurable impact on the business – personalization that drives growth.
Let's dig deeper into the activities that lead to Data Activation, and the activities that follow.
For the lack of better terminology to describe everything that happens before and after data is activated, I’ve taken the liberty to come up with the following: