What is Data Onboarding and how to use it in Business?

In this article we will learn what the term data onboarding really means and how businesses can use it for their profit.

What is Data Onboarding?

Data Onboarding

Data onboarding addresses this complexity by creating a seamless experience for everyone, especially your target market. Data onboarding is the process of uploading offline consumer data to an online application and matching it with online digital IDs.

Why is there a need for proper data onboarding?

Marketing technology is growing and creating unprecedented opportunities to reach consumers in more ways across more devices and with a more significant impact. Each application you use creates a silo of consumer data, which means that some of your valuable consumer data may go untapped, resulting in poor customer experience and, in some cases, lost opportunities.

Now almost every good business runs on software(s). Software development engineering involves developing the best software replacement or a better upgrade.

But it does not matter how much a company upgrades its software unless it is sufficient enough to meet the requirements of the consumers.

Hence, there is a need for more conversation with the target consumers and worrying less about the conversions.

Here the conversation means the data of the target consumer. Whenever a user uses an application on any device, the data is collected and used by the marketing department of the software company.

As a business or company you can use this customer onboarding data to know and understand your customers and make better plans for the future.

When a user uses an application online its data is taken and stored for later marketing decisions. But the real problem occurs when the application is offline. Silo data gets created and hence cannot be accessed.

Thinking of all the offline application users, there is a lot of information which goes untapped, which means very poor feedback from the consumers’ side. This will create an incomplete report to work on.

To eradicate this problem, data onboarding seems to help a lot. Data onboarding helps the marketing sector to access the offline data by sending it to the online application. It helps in creating digital profiles from offline information in an online environment.

Let us take a look at the stepwise progress in this process.

  • Firstly, the user’s offline data is retrieved to an online environment.
  • The data can be username, name, city, email address, and sometimes the transaction status.
  • Since the data is personal, it is anonymized using hashing methods.
  • The digital IDs corresponding to this information are matched with the customer’s information and make the profile meaningful.
  • And lastly, when the data is now available for the marketers, they can process it and now can address the target consumers accordingly.

Let's talk about how data onboarding has affected the business.

It has definitely proved itself as support for the firm that is using this methodology.

But the effects are not in just one department. Uplifting has been noted not only the marketers’, but also from customers’ side too.

Data Onboarding - Laptops

Data Onboarding - the steps involved


The data is uploaded to a third party data onboarding platform. The data you upload will be secured as they are anonymized through a hashing process.


The data you upload is then matched to digital ID's to create a more meaningful customer profile.


In this process, marketers are now able to create segments of the addressable market and target consumers accordingly. Even questions like how to explain addressability are answered through the activation process.

How does data onboarding help your business?

Helps Your Marketing team

According to experts, marketing with precision can deliver a 60% increase in returns on investment on your marketing budget. That being said, data onboarding can substantially improve your marketing strategy.

Having access to this kind of data will help your marketing team do the following:

Grow your market through look-alike marketing

This is a strategy of targeting consumers who share the same behavior as your existing customers. The marketers with the required information can now focus on the lookalike customers. They can target the consumers which have the same interests and behavior as that of the present customers. 

Perform a marketing channel assessment

Data onboarding can also help in making the marketing channel separately visible and less complex. This can help in deciding which channel is working poorly so as to reduce the efforts put on it and increasing it for the ones who perform well.

Increased targeting

This technology also helps in the advertisement sector. When, the advertisements that the customers get are not specific for them, more accurate data can help. Personalized ads can be created for the specific group of customers to increase the sales of the production.

Improved conversion rates

The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that purchase your products. Having the right audience for your campaigns can increase your conversion rates.

In the past, it was difficult to measure the impact of digital ads on offline purchases. However, through data onboarding, marketers are able to get a full picture of the customer purchase journey and create meaningful ads for their target consumers.

Improves customer experience

Consumers are now more demanding than ever, and they expect brands to offer personalized experiences at every touch point. They expect businesses to be where they are in terms of the sales funnel, be it in the consideration stage or the buying stage. A proper data onboarding process will help you deliver the right experience to the right customer.

However, data onboarding starts with how you gather information from your customers. Here are three steps to help a business get the most out of each customer engagement:

  • Get more data into the system - Most data onboarding services will use a customer's email to match it with their digital ID. Email is a good starting point, but try to ask for more details like address, mobile number, and their full name. Doing so will help your offline data match more records.
  • Push for quality data - Not all data you get from the customer should be recorded. Create a data management program to help you update existing customer profile, delete duplicate information and verify email addresses. If you put in garbage, you can't expect to get a diamond.
  • Take advantage of each touch point - More than having data on your customers, be sure to take advantage of each touch point by asking them if they need to update any information. Make it easy for your consumers to update their information online as well.

Personalized experiences show your customers that you care and that you are intentional. Data onboarding is all about providing relevant content to your customers — for example, an e-commerce website that provides product recommendations to its users based on their data and behavior.

As already explained before, after extracting the information from the offline customers, the ID will be generated and will be matched with the digital ID.

For a general stance, most of the data onboarding takes the customer’s email address as ID to match to the digital information.

Email is definitely very accurate and unique to help in the matching process but the company should try to fetch more of the customer’s data like the full name, address, phone numbers, and more basic attributes. Gaining more of the data will help the company’s offline data to match more records.

Data Preprocessing

Data preprocessing is an important need for a less redundant data and removing the garbage.

For that a need of the quality data management is required. Redundant and duplicate data can erode the data accuracy and create problems while data matching. The installed data management methodology will update the existing customer’s profile, delete duplicate data and verify the email addresses. Hence, clearing all the garbage that the database could have.

It is not just the company’s hard work; a little can be made to come from the customer’s side too. With each new phase of the product application, the company can ask for the information update, if the customers are willing to, in both online and offline mode. This creates more chances for interaction and makes the product more user-friendly.

Let’s take an example of any huge e-commerce company.

Their websites and applications have filters for customers to get an easy shopping experience and a recommendation feature to help them to look at the things they require.

This is a process of providing relevant content to the customers. It shows that the company is being attentive to their demands and made things intentionally for their better experience. This will definitely increase the conversion rates of the company.

This is how data onboarding gives businesses a new approach towards success. But while investing in the correct data onboarding brand, there are a few key aspects a company needs to keep in mind.

Data Onboarding - Bad Practices

There are many products whose ads one can encounter on the web portals and online applications for days, even if that person is done with the purchase. Let us take, for instance, a person needed shoes and bought them from some website. That website will keep showing ads for the same shoes on every web portal for days. This is an example of the slow data onboarding packages.

When a customer’s information is collected, most data onboarding takes a few days, five to seven, to process this data as they do it in batch files.

While the data uploading, identity matching and availing the data for marketers is processing, the new data will not be captured and hence the system will not be updated. While in these five to seven days the customers can do a lot of things. Hence, the speed is to be mined.

Marketers as so much into the profile matching that that is all they focus on. Though a good data onboarding has high match rates but one thing remains questionable. The data of the customers may be accurate but the customers must not be relevant. There can be a chance that their identity may has expired. That leads up to a better match but isn’t the accuracy affected?

The onboarding solution needs to focus on addressability along with the data matching. The rooting of the deterministic and authenticated profiles will give more precise customers’ information. As this will mean that the profiles are refreshed with every new interaction, marketers can now know who they can address through which channel.

Sometimes when a company works with a third party data onboarding technology, it uses the rented vendor’s identity graph. This means that they will use the third party’s users’ information and connect their own data. But when the rent thing gets over, then the company is left with no reference and has to do all the data collection from the start.

In fact, very often the third party won’t even share their complete set of data. This is the problem of ownership. A company can choose from the option of a better data onboarding technique that provides it with full control and ownership of the complete data. The company can now track the performance of its business with full transparency in data collection, usage and distribution.


It is proven that data onboarding is a success for a better marketing business. One can get the play with the customers’ data, sales data and the customer insights to make better marketing precisions.

There will not be any loose connections inside the data and one can easily tap into the insights. This will help in making a better and more personalized experience for the customers of every specific group. Data onboarding has proved to be the best technique to measure the company’s marketing efforts even in offline purchases.

With data onboarding, you'll be able to leverage your CRM data, your sales data, and other sources of customer insights. With every data connected, you are now able to tap into all data insights, refine targeting for the marketing team, and offer a more personalized customer experience at all levels.

More importantly, it helps you measure your digital marketing efforts on offline store sales and analyze cross-device purchase behavior. Through data onboarding, you can simplify multi-channel marketing and deliver more measurable results.