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What is Customer Data Platform?

While CDP—including tools like Segment and its alternatives—is a growing category in SaaS right now, it's still not easy to explain the core value proposition of a Customer Data Platform. For instance, telling someone why they need a CRM is straightforward and the buying process is short. However, when it comes to CDPs, even if one understands the value of adopting one, many questions come up regarding its reliability, cost, and ROI. So what really is a CDP, you ask? A Customer Data Platform enables companies to collect and collate customer data from different sources, clean and organize that data, and then send that data to different destinations. Data engineering teams are often skeptical about the promise of a Customer Data Platform — a source of truth of all your customer data with the ability to move data between tools and systems without code. Additionally, using the term CDP to refer to a product or a feature is becoming a trend, making it even harder for people to understand the true value of a Customer Data Platform. I made an attempt to fix that by writing a piece that explains in really simple terms what a CDP does and helps figure out whether or not you even need a CDP.

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