Data Onboarding Challenges Developers Face

With the Many Data Onboarding Challenges Confronting Developers, It's Hard to Find the Bandwidth for Customer Satisfaction.

May 13, 2022

Developers face a lot of challenges every day: creating software and applications, finding solutions to customer and user problems, managing server infrastructure, tracking down data issues, standing up in daily standups, burning down the burndown charts—coming up with extra bandwidth is difficult, maybe impossible.

Let's focus on one area that often gets overlooked but can have far-reaching consequences—data onboarding.

We all know that data onboarding is crucial for any company that sells a product that integrates customer data. We also know there's often a lot of friction surrounding the integration process.

Let's have a look at data onboarding as a resource drain and some ways to make it better.

Data Onboarding Challenges

Importing data in and of itself is already a challenge. It's often in different formats, comes from various sources, and needs to be cleaned and transformed before implementation.

The real challenge is integrating data into a system so that it's accessible for an end-user.

Customers need the data that's being imported into their system, and they want it yesterday. After an engaging pitch and thorough evaluation process, they want to see results quickly, and onboarding hitches can kill a deal. Data onboarding is a precarious moment, and roadblocks (or overcoming them) can make a strong impression on a new client.

If you don't have an effective data onboarding process, customers have to input data into their backend manually. It's time-consuming, creates more opportunities for errors, and places the process outside of your control as a seller.

Without successful data onboarding, customers cannot use the product you sold them. You can't set up marketing automation, do customer segmentation, or carry out other data-driven processes. All the data just sits there, a big pile of unusable information.

And as the need for data tools accelerates, the challenges faced by developers during data onboarding will only continue to increase.

So what exactly makes data onboarding difficult? Let's take a look at some of the most common challenges developers face when it comes to this process.

Dealing with a Variety of Data Formats

The data needs to be in the correct format for data onboarding to succeed. But the customer often provides you with data in a completely different format from what your software uses.

Some data might be in an Excel spreadsheet or a SQL database. Some data might be organized by date, product ID, or a list of names

You'll have to spend effort to convert data into a compatible format. This is a time sink, and it introduces the potential for errors.

You could provide your customers with the template and let them fill it out, but that adds to the likelihood of errors cropping up, and it's not solving the problem. Instead, it's offloading work onto the customer, who doesn't have the bandwidth to deal with onboarding friction any more than you do. The possibility of making a bad impression increases. You're leaving customer retention to chance.

‎Investing Too Much Time Cleaning up Data

Data cleansing is crucial in data onboarding, but it's time-consuming and tedious.

For example, dates might be in different formats, currency values might not be labeled correctly, and contact information can be all over the place. It can be difficult for a system to parse what the data means. It doesn't fit the template. It doesn't work.

This can be a real pain because it takes manual effort to go through each and every piece of data to clean it up.

Data cleansing is often seen as a one-time job, but it's really an ongoing process. As new data comes into the new system, the same process has to be repeated.

This can be frustrating because the customer (or you) can get stuck in a continuous loop of cleaning up data.

Check out more on data cleansing in this video from Google Career Certificates:

Maintaining Consistency

Once you have multiple data sets, keeping track of all the different versions to make sure they are consistent is a drag on resources.

Different data sets often have different formats or structures. Again, you're spending valuable bandwidth on making all the data sets consistent.

Creating New Solutions for Each Data Onboarding Instance

Each set of data has its own unique characteristics and different challenges. This means that you can't just use the same data onboarding solution for every customer. What worked for the last customer's data isn't going to work for an entirely new set.

You'll have to create new solutions for each customer depending on their specific needs. More friction. More time spent. Nothing carrying over from the last customer, so you're starting from scratch each time.

It can be challenging to keep track of all the different data onboarding processes and solutions. Is your current process similar to the one you did 19 customers ago? Someone on your team thinks so, but it's all in their head, and maybe they're mixing some of the details with that other customer that was 22 customers back...

Now you're tracking this formally (hopefully), trying to get learnings from a vast array of customer interactions, adding steps, adding friction in an attempt to reduce friction.

OneSchema: Solutions for Data Onboarding

OneSchema is an embedded data importer that makes it easy to onboard data from various sources. OneSchema solves problems due to poor data quality, data security, and inconsistency. We free up developer bandwidth by taking the tedium, friction, and time-consuming elements out of the data-onboarding process.

OneSchema is a self-service data onboarding tool that anyone can use, regardless of technical skill level. It offers a simple interface that makes it easy to map data from different sources. Your developer time can be leveraged elsewhere, away from the data-onboarding space.

Learn more in this short video.

Data Onboarding Challenges Can Be Overcome With the Right Tool

While it's true that data onboarding can be a challenge, it's also a necessary step for implementing many products.

Data cleansing, lack of developer bandwidth, and importing errors can lead to customer churn from the start, before your tool is even fully implemented. But with the right tool, like OneSchema, these challenges can be dealt with.

To request a demo, click here.

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