Most digital marketing agencies spend hours pulling and cleaning data. Issues such as data silos, lack of in-house technical expertise and difficulty in proving ROI means that agencies struggle to use valuable data in a meaningful way. And in a data-driven world, it has become increasingly clear that marketing agencies need to automate in order to grow. This is where the many benefits of a data warehouse come in.
A data warehouse can be a powerful tool to centralise and store all your agency data, and the advantages are endless. Think agency-wide reporting, consistently high-quality data, faster insights and advanced analytics – all managed in one central hub. In simpler terms, a data warehouse provides a 360 view of your clients and their customers.
What is Data Warehousing?
A data warehouse acts as a single source of truth and allows agencies to analyse their customers and clients more comprehensively. Essentially, it is a database. But not just any database. It’s a cloud-based central repository that collects and manages data from varied sources so that businesses can recognize patterns and identify efficiencies. By pulling data across varied marketing channels and merging it all into one central hub, a data warehouse enables advanced digital advertising analytics.
While we see the term ‘data-driven’ everywhere in our industry, the truth is that most digital marketing agencies struggle to leverage valuable data coming in from a wide range of marketing channels. A data warehouse is simply an effective tool to centralise and standardise all of the data at your disposal in order to gain unique insights like industry benchmarks or search term value across an entire vertical for fast and effective analysis.
In a marketing context, data warehouses allow teams to integrate data from numerous advertising channels such as Google Analytics, CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot, Facebook, Google and more.
Top 10 Benefits of a Data Warehouse
A data warehouse is relatively inexpensive in comparison to alternative analytics solutions and consists of two main benefits: storage and computing. It allows you to join and process huge datasets from various sources, prepare cross-channel data for reporting, and easily run advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms across all your agency data. Think of the possibilities!
#1. Enables Data Automation
As a leader in a digital marketing agency, clients come to you as the digital expert. You know that data silos hurt agencies because strategy requires visibility. You also know that when your account managers are spending time on repetitive tasks, it beats down team morale.
As the field progresses, more and more clients expect automation solutions and advanced analytics capabilities like machine learning to help them achieve their marketing goals. Today, data warehouse automation tools provide a wide range of benefits including real-time data extraction, analysis of cloud data and web application services. And in a data-driven discipline, advanced automation and analytics are a weapon.
#2. Saves Time
How many times has your paid media team grown frustrated when dealing with manual, click-intensive tasks? Why is it so challenging to run advanced analytics using Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) or Sheets? To put it simply, these tools were not built to handle huge amounts of data, and will continue to fail you as your agency grows. They cost your team’s time and nerves – which in turn hurts the profitability of your agency.
One of the many benefits of a data warehouse is that it saves your staff precious time usually spent on manual and repetitive tasks. By automating otherwise extremely time-consuming procedures, your team can focus on strategy and creativity instead, thereby reducing your cost per client and making space for innovative solutions.
#3. Improves Data Quality and Consistency
Data processing continues to be a serious obstacle for digital marketing agencies. Agencies struggle with dispersed, siloed, and incomplete data – therefore making it difficult to compete against more innovative competitors.
With a data warehouse, agencies can process the endless data at their disposal to develop and invest in successful niches within their client base, all in a matter of seconds. By replacing tedious and error-prone copy and paste procedures, account managers save time and can deliver truly unique insights and automations.
#4. Combines Data From Various Sources
What you really get with a data warehouse is a powerful technology that can make your agency stand out with unique insights that are based on your client’s current and historical data.
All your data can be effectively analysed and reported on using BigQuery or through other tools such as Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) – and because data is normalised before the warehouse processes it, your agency will be able to use it without even having to format it first! We always recommend Google’s industry-leading BigQuery data warehouse for digital marketing agencies because it integrates seamlessly with tools like Looker Studio and Sheets, offering enterprise-level performance despite being very cost-effective.
Need a Custom Data Warehousing Solution?
#5. Enables Cross-Channel Reporting
Effective cross-channel and agency-wide reporting is key for account optimization, conversion attribution, agency level insights, and client reporting. A data warehouse helps you pull data from numerous marketing channels into a purpose-built advertising repository, so that even your non-technical staff can query, interpret, and communicate the data by comparing it side by side.
In a nutshell: by enabling accurate cross-channel reporting, a data warehouse serves as your agency’s single, trusted source of truth.
#6. Lets You Create Custom Analytics Dashboards
Does your agency struggle to predict trends, identify key insights or make good use of valuable patterns? How much time does your team waste on manually assembling reports for clients across multiple platforms and time frames?
One of the main benefits of a data warehouse is that it allows digital advertisers to view huge amounts of data in a single, concise dashboard consisting of charts, graphs, and easily digestible metrics. A data warehouse dashboard means you can make straightforward, regular queries, generate reports, and run predictive analysis in a matter of seconds – making it easier for your business to make key decisions in a short time frame.
Screenshot of a custom cross-channel report we made for a client in Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio).
#7. Advanced Segmentation
Most agencies who deal with huge amounts of data struggle to organise it in a useful or profitable way. Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could quickly compare the differences and similarities between customers, or identify what was driving results for a high-performing group so you could simply duplicate that success with others?
A data warehouse allows for online analytical (OLAP) and business intelligence (BI) use, both which enable data to be ‘sliced and diced’ so that you can identify exactly what factors are either driving or stalling the performance of a certain group. Advanced segmentation means that you can easily compare audience ‘segments’ (such as gender, age and user behaviour) – so your agency can gain valuable insights about a client’s target audience.
#8. Enables Historical Insights
One of the main benefits of having your own data warehouse is the ability to access historical data.
Think of it this way: most digital advertising agencies use standard databases that store information on all of their customers. The agencies who invest in their own data warehouse, however, can access information on every customer they have ever had – giving them valuable insight into customer behaviours and allowing them to uncover trends over time.
In other words, a data warehouse enables you to analyse both current and historical data, thereby allowing you to easily identify efficiencies and patterns that might otherwise not be obvious.
#9. Enhances Business Intelligence
Most digital agencies out there are still (at least partially) managing their data manually. By doing so, they are acting on business intelligence reactively, and losing valuable time while doing so.
Another key benefit of a fully automated data warehouse is that it is specifically designed to enable and support business intelligence activities such as machine learning, analytics and reporting software.
#10. Generates a Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
A data warehouse helps marketing agencies get a better handle on ROI and other important metrics by consolidating data into a centralised database.
By using ROI formulas and unlocking new strategies for your campaigns that require advanced insights, your agency can both justify and quantify the positive impact of data warehousing technologies to its clients. Overall, marketing returns increase once your company harnesses the data its data warehouse generates rather than spending hours on tedious, manual reporting.
Data Warehousing Types
There are three main types of data warehouses, and each comes with both its advantages and disadvantages. The type of data warehouse your business will choose will depend on the various requirements of your enterprise as well as its long-term goals.
1. Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW)
Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) is a centralised warehouse. It provides decision support services across the enterprise and offers a tactical, unified approach for classifying data according to subject.
2. Operational Data Store (ODS)
Operational Data Store (ODS) is a central database used for operational reporting as a data source, and acts as a complementary element to an EDW. It is refreshed in real-time, making it the preferred choice for routine activities such as storing employee records.
3. Data Mart
A data mart is considered a subset of the data warehouse, and is specially designed for a particular line of business, such as finance or sales. A data mart is subject-oriented and can collect specific data from various sources, providing organisations with critical insights extremely quickly.
Why Does Your Business Need a Data Warehouse
Every innovative agency has its own unique strategies and rules when it comes to things like budget management and ad optimization, and we know that’s what has made you successful over the years! But if the following five questions resonate, maybe it’s time you considered investing in a data warehouse.
- Is your agency’s data siloed and is it hard to compare channels?
- Are Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) and Sheets consistently slow, and does your team frequently face performance issues?
- Would it make your life easier if you could pull data from across a wide-range of sources in order to accurately compare them?
- Do you want a proprietary tool to automate optimizations across channels?
- Are portfolio-level performance insights across channels valuable to you?
Think of it like this: centralising your agency’s data in one data warehouse is an opportunity to analyse a wealth of historical data and to optimise your clients’ campaigns with strategies that are derived from unique insights gleaned from your own data. All agency data in one place. That’s the big differentiating factor.
Let Acuto Create a Data Warehouse For Your Business
Every innovative agency has its own unique strategy. But building the necessary custom optimization tools in order to increase your clients’ campaign performance is extremely expensive and time consuming.
Or is it?
It used to be prohibitively expensive for smaller agencies to build custom tools. But the underlying technology has changed! Acuto is here to tell you that the size of your agency no longer matters.
We’re a team of specialists who build custom PPC automation solutions and purpose-built advertising data infrastructure solutions for agencies. Because very few agencies have specialist cloud engineers in house, we offer a managed advertising data warehouse service. You own everything – we just help you set it up and manage it so you can focus on what you’re great at. Our data warehouse services have helped agencies from the planning phase all the way through to implementation. We keep working with them to implement data and automation solutions that set their agencies apart.
Get in touch if you would like to learn more about our flexible, infinitely scalable and cost-effective data warehousing services.
If your digital marketing agency is looking to show its clients that its approach to data-driven is cut from a different cloth, the benefits of data warehousing are countless.
To summarise, the key benefits of your own data warehouse include:
- Save precious time wasted on repetitive, manual and click-intensive tasks.
- Unlock new strategies for your campaigns that require advanced insights and analytics.
- Finally understand what channels to push spend to by looking across all channels holistically.
- Access historical data in order to easily identify efficiencies and patterns that might otherwise not be obvious.
- Allow even your non-technical staff to query, interpret, and communicate data by comparing it side by side.
A data warehouse sets you apart from your competitors, because being a data innovator means continuously launching innovative and successful marketing strategies. No matter the complexity of PPC data required, Acuto can help you build a custom-data warehouse that makes accessing data straightforward, hassle-free and pushes your agency towards innovation.