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  • Writer's pictureDatitude


Organisations are inundated with data. As a result, there’s been a prolific rise in data platforms and tools all helping to unlock the power of your data!

Customer data platforms (CDP), email service providers (ESP), customer relationship management (CRM), data management platforms (DMP), digital experience platforms (DXP), marketing automation platforms (MAP), product information management systems (PIM), data warehouse, data lake, data integration platforms…

Connected data - platforms and tools

We could go on, but you get the point – data solutions are like big data itself; vast, varied and evolving at speed. Even we struggle to keep up with all the acronyms and terms used to describe the array of data solutions at times!

There's a wealth of solutions to manage your business intelligence (BI), customer data, marketing, and product management needs, and platforms and tools originally designed to serve a single purpose are increasingly morphing into wider solutions. For example, you can find a DXP or ESP that also offers a CDP. Similarly, some CDPs have evolved into the digital marketing space with ESP or marketing automation built-in.

Visual of data analytics

If you’re looking for a data solution to serve your BI and analytics requirements, being able to differentiate data platforms and tools will make a significant difference to how well you can access, use, and gain insights from your data, and avoid costly mistakes. After all, many organisations still struggle to integrate and unify their vast data volumes and realise its full potential.

To help you cut through the jargon, we've produced this ultimate quick guide to the most common BI, customer data, and martech platforms and tools. We then touch upon the debate about customer data, marketing automation, and digital experience platforms, by giving our perspective on the differences.

Datitude's Quick Guide to Common Data Platforms and Tools

Are all Customer Data Platforms the same?

In a word, no! As CDPs have evolved, so has the functionality. Equally, many ESP and marketing automation platforms have integrated CDPs into their offering, and Digital Experience Platforms have come along to blur the lines further.

The CDP Institute has categorised 4 types of CDPs as follows:

Data CDPs – gather customer data from source systems, link data to customer identities, and store the results in a database available to external systems.

Analytics CDPs - provide data assembly plus analytical applications including customer segmentation. They may extend to machine learning, predictive modelling, revenue attribution, and journey mapping, and often automate the distribution of data to other systems.

Campaign CDPs - provide the above, plus customer treatments (such as personalized messages, outbound marketing campaigns, real-time interactions, or product or content recommendations). What distinguishes them from the customer segmentation in an Analytics CDP is they can specify different treatments for different individuals within a segment and orchestrate different experiences across channels.

This is the level of customer data functionality Datitude offers within its Customer and Retail Data Platform.

Delivery CDPs - provide all of the above, plus message delivery. Delivery may be through email, website, mobile apps, CRM, advertising, or several of these. Platforms in this category often started as delivery systems (ESPs), subsequently adding CDP functionality.

If you're thinking “isn’t this the same as a Digital Experience Platform or Marketing Automation Platform?”, you're not alone!


So what is the difference between Customer Data Platforms, Marketing Automation Platforms and Digital Experience Platforms?

In some instances, it’s just a name - the difference being the terminology used to categorise a platform’s capabilities. Take Datitude’s platform as an example – we call it a customer and retail data platform.

Retail store front, customers and connected data

It's a complete BI and customer data solution in one managed solution. So it’s much more than a customer data platform and whilst you can leverage the data analytics for campaign planning and measuring marketing effectiveness, it is not a marketing automation or digital experience platform.

We could write a book on the different types of platforms and data solutions, including data architecture and strategy, but we think you’d get far more value from our top tips on choosing the right data solution for your needs.

We'll be covering this in our next blog so check back here soon. In the meantime...


Can Datitude help you?

We’ll happily give you our honest, and straightforward, view on all things data, including what might be the right solution for your needs and budget, recognising our platform may not be it.

Equally, if you just want to talk through the pros and cons of PowerBI vs Tableau, cloud vs on-premise data storage, data warehouse vs data lake, we’ll gladly chat. We’ll even buy the coffee!

Icons - overview of Datitude's customer and retail data platform

If you’re looking for a complete solution to integrate your trading and customer data from multiple sources and transform it into a single unified view, with dynamic reports, dashboards, and rich analytics built-in and automated as standard, plus a choice of front ends, you should talk to us.

Our customer and retail data platform is a hybrid solution; combining data lake and data warehouse, systems integration, and business intelligence in a single managed solution.

We process raw data into standardised, highly validated, and user-friendly data models, making standardised reports, insights, and extracts fast, reliable, and repeatable...


…we keep all the raw data too so it can be queried directly by the data scientists among you to gain new insights…which can then be standardised for end-users into the data warehouse.

It’s what we call data with attitude! Make sure you’ve got it.


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