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.
Read an introduction to the data layer.
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.
Learn more about data layer structure and naming conventions.
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.
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.
Learn more about validating your data layer.
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.
Learn more about how the data layer enhances the customer experience.