A Quest for the 'Single Source of Truth'

Relying on fewer platforms to reduce data inconsistencies

An interview with:
Siara Nazir
Head of Digital Marketing
Autodesk

Many marketers aim to centralize their data since opening up scores of dashboards sucks time out of the day. Siara Nazir, head of digital marketing at Autodesk, spoke with eMarketer’s Ross Benes about how the software firm is pulling most of its data through a single dashboard.

eMarketer:

What does your role entail at Autodesk?

Siara Nazir:

I lead an incubation around creating a digital center of excellence. Our CEO has an initiative where he would like to be a more digitally direct driven company, and so I am part of the team that’s introducing that.

eMarketer:

How do you go about doing that?

Siara Nazir:

So it’s stabling everything from behavior-based personas to creation of a customer-lifetime value and combining all of that with a single source of truth as well as expanding into new digital marketing channels.

eMarketer:

What do you mean by a single source of truth?

Siara Nazir:

It’s that one single dashboard that pulls in all of the costs, all of the renewal information, their trial information, the cross-device information. So basically you can take a look at the snapshot of your business not only today, but if that business continued, how it could impact you three to five years from now, which is the kind of rigor that as marketers we tend to forget.

eMarketer:

Why do you think marketers forget about those longer-term goals?

Siara Nazir:

We keep focusing on the short term and today, and we forget that whatever we’re doing actually creates revenue a year or two years down the line that may be good for the company.

Right now, if there's a gap within the system, the teams will have to spend three weeks trying to dig through the data. And even that data isn't as accurate because there's no single attribution system built in.

eMarketer:

What’s the benefit in transitioning all that data to a single dashboard?

Siara Nazir:

You have to have that single source of truth because if you have one channel measuring their business one way and another channel measuring it another way, and the two systems don't even talk to each other, you know that multiple channels are probably taking credit for [a sale], which is inflating the return on assets.

Right now, if there's a gap within the system, the teams will have to spend three weeks trying to dig through the data. And even that data isn't as accurate because there's no single attribution system built in.

eMarketer:

When tweaking your attribution setup, did anything surprise you?

Siara Nazir:

I am continuously amazed that a lot of companies don’t have this.

Interview conducted on May 8, 2018

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