Data engineeringJanuary 29, 2020

Empower your team with better access to data

Put your team’s trust back into your data. Create a Data Plan to build and maintain context around your data and involve the right people in data decision-making.

democratize data

Companies have access to more data than ever. Theoretically, that should mean that extracting the data needed by every stakeholder across product, engineering, analytics, and marketing functions should be relatively simple. In practice, however, trying to get the right data is a messy, disjointed, and manual process that takes up valuable time and doesn’t guarantee that the data surfaced and used downstream is accurate. Surfacing and using the right data needed across a business can quickly become a tangled, difficult, and lengthy process that leads to less-than-stellar results as poor data quality pollutes your downstream processes and tools. 

Data Master’s data planning, quality enforcement rules, and validation features provide organizations with the tools they need to create a solid data foundation by standardizing and validating customer data before it gets shared across systems, applications, and teams so your data is accurate, actionable, and reliable every time.

The trouble with data planning

Traditionally, data planning happens at implementation. As part of our standard onboarding process, our Solution Consultants work with every member of your team responsible for customer data, including product managers, marketers, and developers to create a custom data plan configured to meet your organization’s specific needs. 

The data plan is a living document used to keep data stakeholders on the same page throughout the implementation process that typically lasts a few weeks. It captures the following:

  • Customer’s implementation goals
  • Number of data inputs and data outputs
  • Data points to be collected such as user attributes and events

Over the years this approach has worked great for our customers to meet their go-live goals. But there are some challenges:

  1. For projects involving multiple teams across the organization, the process requires a dedicated project manager to keep track of changes in a document, especially as teams chime in with differing opinions.
  2. Because it’s a document/tracker, there is no automatic validation against the plan to ensure things are working.
  3. Implementation mistakes go unnoticed until they begin to cause data quality issues that have huge downstream effects on every process and initiative reliant on customer data.

To solve these problems, we created Data Master. With Data Master, product managers, marketers, and developers can create Data Plans and automatically validate data against them to reduce human error and ensure data quality at all times.

Take the pain out of data planning

Data Plans provide a powerful suite of integrated tools to collaborate with data stakeholders to collect, manage and validate data with everyone’s agreement. Anyone can create a new “Data Plan” to align with an organizational goal, such as capturing data customer data from a new or existing source. 

For example, you can create a Data Plan for all your media data:

In the Data Plan, you can assign which event and user attribute data points should be captured and define how they are collected.

Data Plans are highly flexible. You can edit or update the Data Plan as it evolves to fit the current needs.  A historical changelog with version tracking provides everyone with the information they need to understand how and why your Data Plans evolved, introducing transparency to your data planning. 

You can also track Data Plan violations such as unplanned and invalid data points, including user attribute information, and set up alerts.

Data Master also allows you to download the Data Plan in a JSON format to support a build spec so your data stakeholders and your developers are both aware of the expected data standards specifications.

{
  "version": 2,
  "data_plan_id": "mobile_data_plan",
  "version_description": "",
  "activated_environment": "development",
  "created_on": "2019-12-03T14:36:18.483",
  "created_by": "jbramford@mparticle.com",
  "last_modified_on": "2019-12-03T14:38:07.793",
  "last_modified_by": "jbramford@mparticle.com",
  "version_document": {
    "data_points": [
      {
        "description": "Triggered when a product is purchased",
        "match": {
          "type": "custom_event",
          "criteria": {
            "event_name": "Purchase",
            "custom_event_type": "transaction"
          }
        },
        "validator": {
          "type": "json_schema",
          "definition": {
            "properties": {
              "data": {
                "additionalProperties": true,
                "properties": {
                  "custom_event_type": {
                    "const": "transaction"
                  },
                  "event_name": {
                    "const": "Purchase"
                  },
                  "custom_attributes": {
                    "additionalProperties": false,
                    "properties": {
                      "SKU": {
                        "description": "",
                        "type": "string"
                      },
                      "Price": {
                        "description": "",
                        "type": "string"
                      },
…
…
..

Data Plans can help teams mitigate poor data quality, incomplete data sets, unexpected data, and human errors. With Data Master’s Data Planning features establishing a source of reliable customer data that every member of your organization can use to drive product and business decisions is easier than ever before. Create your Data Plan in mParticle today to organize your customer data and to stop bad data from polluting your downstream tools.

If you’d like to learn more about what Data Master can do for you, reach out to your CSM. Or, if you’re not yet an mParticle customer, you can step into our platform demo and explore Data Master, and more, for yourself!

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AuthorRashel ShehataRashel is a Product Development Director at mParticle.

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