Data sources enable you to label and separate your data within a single data center. Data sources mostly affect how DEC recognizes visitors and stores interaction data about visitors. Having in mind that a contact's unique identifier is their email and anonymous visitors' interactions are reported based on a combination of the Subject ID and data source, there are a couple of cases you need to be aware of:
- When visitors complete interactions reported by two different data sources, even when these visitors have the same Subject ID, DEC considers these interactions as completed by two different visitors.
- When a contact completes interactions, reported by different data sources, DEC merges the interactions in the profile of that contact, based on their email address.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that you use a single data source for all data within a data center.
However, there may be cases when you need to collect data from more than one data source in a single data center. Say you are working with multiple sources of data. You usually are dealing with files and records that you need to use within your marketing reports and campaigns to analyze a comprehensive set of data. For example, you want to measure the success of a webinar, so you import data from a 3rd-party system, that is, a different data source. Thus, reporting this data in a separate data source enables you to monitor specifically the statistics for this set of imported data. In addition, you can later delete this data to minimize the impact of malformed data, for example.
NOTE: When importing contacts' data in a separate data source, you need to import an email value for each contact since DEC uses this email to identify contacts.
For more information about data import scenarios, see: