What is a Data Layer?
The data layer is a centralized data repository
The data layer is a piece of code that serves as a repository for your website’s most essential data. Born out of the soils of tag management, the data layer helps centralize data collection and storage by gathering data about user behavior and page content. That data is then distributed to the various technologies in your MarTech stack.
Data layer basics
In a virtual sense, the data layer sits between the client-side presentation layer (what the user sees) and the marketing application layer. The data layer is made up of variables and key-value pairs (e.g. “pageTitle” : “Receipt Page”) where data can be stored and retrieved by TMSs and individual marketing technologies.
Data layer and tag management
Data layers and tag management systems were both created out of a need to streamline the data collection process. By deploying a data layer alongside a TMS container code, developers create a data center where the TMS can direct vendor tags.
Data layer and data quality
Different marketing technologies have different measurement practices, resulting in incongruent data across tools. A data layer gathers its own data according to the event definitions established by your developers. That data can then be distributed to your marketing technologies. As a result, data is standardized and consistent across your tools.
Data layer and the customer experience
Deploying a data layer lifts the weight off of your web code, resulting in faster load times for your users. Marketing technologies are deployed more accurately, increasing the probability of a delighted customer. The standardization of a data layer promotes personalization in the user experience.