How Advisory Board Company used Portqii’s External Data Intelligence to eliminate data overheads. 

About ABC (Advisory Board Company)

Founded in 1979, ABC discovers the best practices in healthcare through rigorous, proprietary research. They work with a community of more than four thousand five hundred partner organizations to focus on their specific and shared issues. Their expertise is shared through multidimensional products and services. One of these dimensions is digital subscription, and ABC uses Oracle’s Eloqua for this purpose. 

ABC also uses Salesforce; they use the Salesforce integration app to integrate Salesforce with Eloqua. They have been using this method for years now. 

They have also been a user of Portqii apps and were aware of the capabilities of our External Data Intelligence (EDI) app. 

The Challenge

ABC wanted to run an outreach program to their partners if their subscription was expiring in sixty days or less. They wanted to remind their community to renew their subscriptions. 

Their Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) had all the membership details. Salesforce stored the expiry dates for each account. They needed Eloqua to have access to that information. 

Non-EDI Options

There were two options ABC could choose from: 

Option 1: Import all membership data into an Eloqua CDO

With this option, all the data will be available in Eloqua, with Salesforce as the master system. Eloqua would update each time Salesforce data would update. 

Why they did not like this approach:

They would need to import 500K+ records. They would need to maintain two copies of membership details and keep them coordinated with regular updates. 

Option 2: Import data for only those whose membership is expiring in 60 days (about 2 months).

This meant that there were fewer records to import, but there was a problem. 

Why they did not like this approach:

With this approach, they would have to run a query every day and import fresh data each day. Each day, they would have data in Eloqua that is stale, and they would need to scrub it to keep it fresh. 

The EDI Option

The third option was EDI, and it did not have the downside of the first two approaches. 

How EDI Works

EDI connects to Salesforce (or Snowflake, Big Query, Dynamic CRM) at runtime. There is no importing data into Eloqua.  

This worked nicely for ABC. They did not need to maintain two sets of data or refresh data every day. EDI’s powerful business engine would query Salesforce to help Eloqua send out emails in real time. 

Setting up EDI for a campaign was a one-time effort. Once configured, Eloqua would keep sending out emails to anyone with a subscription ending in the next sixty days. 

Here are some reasons we recommend EDI:

  1. Unlike with the Salesforce integration app, no data needs to be imported. This removes any overheads that data brought to the process. 
  2. CDOs grow, and as they grow, they slow down any segments that use them. This impacts the campaign runtime execution 
  3. Having a CDO means having a second copy of a dataset. This will require regular coordination between the original set and the CDO.  
  4. Writing queries is complex and one needs to know Salesforce SOQL competencies. On the other hand, EDI provides a drag and drop editor, making query writing as simple as segment creation. 

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