Decision and Approach

This is the third of three posts outlining the challenges, alternatives, and decision processes we faced in our customer data journey that led to the inception of Linq Analytics. Please check out our prior posts for parts one and two

As our leadership team evaluated the customer data options in front of us, cost and time-to-value considerations were our primary decision criteria. In our case, time-to-value meant how quickly we could access the master entity data, as we had a large data warehouse and a capable analytics team that could help drive actionable insights rapidly once that data was available.

With legacy MDM and custom-built solution price tags reaching seven figures and meaningful use of customer data being more than a year away, we determined that a “virtual integration” would likely be our preferred approach. Notably, we believed this could help us tackle both ongoing and future integration issues for new CRM instances after M&A events in a more cost-effective and timely manner…effectively, a “Lite” version of traditional Master Data Management approaches.

At that time, Darrell Petty and I were discussing his consulting firm, Sullexis. They had multiple ongoing efforts in which Sullexis was helping its clients in various industries establish “sticky links” for customer entities in vast data lakes. We sketched out the general outline of a potential solution at our favorite Tacodeli “conference room” in Austin. After Darrell and his team pitched the concept to our team, Linq Analytics was officially born, with my team at the time as both a co-developer and the Alpha client.

Over the next several months, the Sullexis team worked with our business applications, analytics, and sales operations teams to get the first version of the Linq Account Hierarchy Management Solution built, tested, and in production. The key element we needed was a single global identifier for a master customer entity: once the Global parent ID and subsequent Parent IDs were created and assigned within Linq, the source systems could use those markers in existing work flows to provide our first entity-level lens on our data in a way that matched how we went to market. A year later, the team has built a capability and competency leveraging the Linq tool as new and innovative use cases continue to emerge.

In April 2021, I made the decision to join the team at Linq Analytics, as I believe the product and the data it provides can help our clients tackle many problems, and I am excited about where the team is heading. Coming from a blend of analytics and corporate development roles, and having worked closely with private equity teams over the last several years, I have seen first-hand how accurate customer mapping can accelerate revenue after acquisitions, inform broader growth strategy, drive efficiencies in sales and marketing operations, and allow for improved measurement of business performance. I am looking forward to helping our clients leverage the Linq solution to harness complex customer data and solve similar challenges, and I look forward to sharing our innovations in more detail going forward.