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Online Retailer | Case Study

A Fortune 500 Retailer Unlocked Customer Insights by Cleaning Salesforce Data

Dirty, Duplicate Data is Replaced with Holistic, Up-to-Date Customer Views

Tamr Results:

  • Improved marketing and sales operations by creating unified views of customers from a previous state of millions of records and eleven disconnected systems including Salesforce, Company rewards program, website, and business accounts like Dun & Bradstreet

  • Identified that 40% of existing customer records were duplicates by mastering Salesforce data and eliminated them from core databases leading to cost-savings

  • Enabled sales and marketing to better upsell and cross-sell existing customers by delivering high quality, up-to-date, unique customer records

  • Deployed a scalable system for ongoing data mastering that continues to grow with the business and power fresh customer experience initiatives

Like many retailers, this multi-billion dollar office retail and services giant with stores located around the world, had aggressively invested in and grown its online business. It’s customer-driven site offered functionality designed to delight customers and keep them coming back for more -- like persistently viewable shopping carts, personalized shopping lists, and precision search.

The success of its e-commerce efforts meant the retailer was flush with high-value, but messy and hard to use data about its customers and their unique buying behaviors. Critical customer information was siloed in multiple systems across the organization, like Salesforce, customer rewards programs, business data accounts, and data enrichment sources like Everstring and Dun & Bradstreet. This poor data quality obscured key customer insights like which product and services were being bought. How much and how frequently customers were buying. And critically, who was in-charge of buying decisions and where they were located.

Current efforts at managing customer data were failing and costing time and money in the process. The business decided that in order to improve its sales and marketing effectiveness it needed to provide its teams with complete, accurate, and up-to-date data.

One year ago, the retailer turned to Tamr to master it’s customer data in order to improve its sales and marketing performance. By moving to a modern, cloud-native data mastering solution from Tamr, the retailer now effectively curates and enriches its customer data at scale to power more-competitive selling and new customer experience initiatives while reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of data management.

The Problem: Critical Customer Insight and Revenue Opportunities Go Unseen Because of Bad Data

Good customer service is a vital part of its brand promise. The retailer invested heavily in technologies to capture and visualize its abundant customer data. Among these investments was a rules-based master data management (MDM) that attempted to gather and curate customer and prospect data across Salesforce and eleven other data sources to deliver a single view of its customers.

As with any large-scale rules-based system, operationalizing it and delivering results required dozens of skilled engineers and even more business users to not just build -- but fix and maintain the datasets. For example, when a business user notices duplicate or incorrect records in Salesforce, it may take months to update the data due to the manual coding required to adjust the rules system and push changes to production. These manual processes slowed sales operations as well as time-to-market for new customer data initiatives.

"Before Tamr, we were spending a lot of money, not only from a licensing perspective but also from an efficiency perspective."

- VP of Enterprise Data, Analytics, and Architecture

Tamr’s Solution: Mastering Diverse Customer Data at Scale With Human-Guided Machine Learning

Recognizing the problems, and limitations caused by their manual system, the retailer turned to human-guided, machine-learning-powered data mastering technology from Tamr. With Tamr’s Customer 360 solution in place, the retailer:

  • Identified nearly 40% duplicate records across its operational systems and Salesforce instances, which were obscuring insight and contributing to the high total cost of ownership.
  • Curated millions of unique customer records from 11 sources--
    both Salesforce and operational data sources.
  • Enriched data to produce clustered and segmented customer views, enabling marketing and sales ops by territory or industry.
  • Replaced a dated, slow and expensive process that was constraining business growth with a highly scalable, flexible and much faster process.
  • Clustered customer views at both the site-level and contact-level allowing sales and marketing greater ability to segment their outreach and customize offers.

Using Tamr to automatically assign a permanent Customer ID to each unique record, the retailer prevents “data drift”; even as the business grows and adds new customers and data.

The retailer now has a disciplined, scalable system in place for ongoing automated curation, one that can meet its ambitious B2B sales and marketing initiatives.

The impact on the business and streamlining marketing and sales campaigns elevated Tamr to a business-critical partner.

“It’s been a really great journey and partnership with Tamr. We’re excited about what we’ve been able to do together. We’ve been able to pay forward a legacy sales process that we created more than ten years ago, modernizing it by introducing machine learning to make everything more efficient. Thanks to everyone involved at Tamr.”

- VP of Enterprise Data, Analytics, and Architecture

Generating Trustworthy and Actionable Customer Data at Scale

By moving to modern customer data mastering with Tamr, the retailer streamlined and sped up its sales process; and, critically, now trusts business data to inform decisions. With Tamr, the retailer has experienced:

  • A newfound ability to efficiently market to its customers with better and more timely messages based on the mastered customer data now populating it’s marketing automation systems.
  • Unified customer views across all digital and physical touchpoints, greatly improving sales productivity and performance.
  • Enhanced existing customer experience initiatives by including clean and accurate data about its B2B customers.
  • Improved business flexibility and responsiveness as a result of ongoing access to clean, curated, and up-to-date customer data.

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“It’s helped us to align the data organization so we can continually deliver more data value to Sales and Marketing, from the business process and our technology.”

- VP of Enterprise Data, Analytics, and Architecture

During the pandemic, the retailer’s business had to turn on a dime to accommodate dramatic shifts in customer demand and the supply chain. Having up-to-date, high-quality views of its customer base enabled the company to, for example, quickly identify and prioritize essential businesses, such as hospitals or health-care organizations, for delivery of PPE and other critical products.

A Look to the Future

“Before we didn’t have enough time to focus on improving the data quality. With Tamr, we’re now able to maximize the quality of the data that we have.”

- VP of Enterprise Data, Analytics, and Architecture

As the retailer expands the data it masters with Tamr, the company plans to use its new B2B customer data agility to improve the customer experience through more targeted campaigns and other new marketing initiatives. Its pandemic experience left the company stronger and more flexible, positioning it well to handle forays into new product areas like digital services.

Perhaps more importantly, the introduction of machine learning into its data mastering process opens the doors for other modern data technologies, such as data science--a future area of partnering with Tamr.

Next Steps

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