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Single Source of Truth

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is the Single Source of Truth?

The concept of Single Source of Truth is essential for all analytics and measurement as it is necessary to have consensus on what data is used for decision making. A single source of truth is where you determine what the core business metrics that you can measure your activity against are. It can be your CRM or your web analytics tool. It’s especially important to have a single source of truth as all digital platforms measure metrics differently so you need to have a unifying set of metrics to measure different channel performance against.

Other data sources can be measured against this single source of truth data in order to optimize activities in relation to your truth. This way you are working towards an agreed data goal rather than a range of data sources that can measure actions differently.

Using the Single Source of Truth

Using a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics as a single source of truth for conversion metrics enables you to gain a full understanding of the channel value and contribution to overall business goals. This is because all traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics can be read and analyzed side by side.

However, if conversion data is reported truthfully in another platform such as a CRM or e-commerce engine, it's important to test the variance between Google Analytics and the other single source of truth.

One way of doing this is to divide the Google Analytics data by what's been reported by your other system to see if you can confidently find a multiplier to bring that GA data in line with what's been reported in the other system. You may need to stress test the multiplier and find a reasonable compromise within an allowable variance across channels, months, or other dimensions.

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Jack Preston

Jack Preston is a Data Scientist working within marketing analytics, with a particular focus on strategic customer loyalty. Jack has experience working in both small-scale startups and large corporates, including dunnhumby and Notonthehighstreet. He also holds an MSc in Business Analytics from UCL where he graduated with distinction.


Jack Preston
Skills Expert

This short course covers the principles of analytics and demonstrates techniques and useful tools that you can use to develop and refine your knowledge of data analytics.

You will learn:

  • The fundamentals of data, collecting data, and processing data, including best practices, techniques, and challenges
  • The principles of web analytics, the benefits and limitations of Google Analytics, terminology for reporting, and the legalities around consent and data privacy
  • The concepts of Big Data, the processes around data, including mining, scraping, cleansing, and de-duping, and the various languages and programs for testing your data
  • The importance of AI, Machine Learning, analysis types, the value of testing hypotheses, and forecasting based on the data available
  • How best to report and present data findings to management and the different tools available to you

Approximate learning time: 3 hours