For marketers, there are a vast number of tools (media and ad management platforms, social networks, CRM systems, etc.) that can be used every day to make your life easier. That is until you actually have to go behind the scenes and get the numbers. Data collection can be a messy, lengthy, and mind-numbing process. It is all too common that your data is already outdated (outdata-ed) by the time you are able to get it into a format that is ready to be used for reporting. At Alight Analytics we have created a platform that is designed to accommodate the array of tools marketers are using, turning your data mess into easy data management.
The most frequent way we gather and connect to your data is through the use of APIs. An API (Application Programming Interface) provides programmers with the means to communicate with certain applications. (Think of it like a bridge that helps connect one system to another.) Any time someone wishes to retrieve their data they must call on the API and use a language specific to each application to pull that information into their internal system. We’ve built a multitude available for a diverse array of source systems.
Not all applications have an API, however, and some only have very limited or inapplicable uses. In fact, almost half of the API builds requested of us simply don’t exist. The good news, however, is that for Alight clients, that doesn’t matter. “We are not limited by who has an API, or even a good API, because we know that all of your data is important. That is one of the main reasons people use our service,” said Mike Wieners, Manager of Product Development.
In those cases where there is no API with properly structured data, we have a couple of workarounds. Our most common way is by utilizing a flat file ingestion puller. Our team uses a secure file sharing system to pull reports from an application on a set schedule. This is a fully automated pulling system that, in general, occurs daily (though we can schedule it to any desired regular interval). These automated pulling systems not only make things easier for all parties involved, they also decrease any likelihood of errors. For those clients who do not have the need or desire for regularly intervaled data pulls, we have a manual File Upload system that is available purely on demand.
“What makes us unique from our competitors is that we can get the information our clients want when the data source vendors have failed. Our competitors may be solely reliant on APIs, but we certainly aren’t. We’ll connect to your data no matter the circumstance or way it’s available,” concluded Wieners.
Interested in seeing if we can untangle your marketing data mess? We are here to help.