What is the CDP Institute? The Go-to Place for CDP Market Research & CDP Industry Statistics

What is the CDP Institute? The Go-to Place for CDP Market Research & CDP Industry Statistics

What is the CDP Institute? The Go-to Place for CDP Market Research & CDP Industry Statistics

What is the CDP Institute? You might have come across the term when doing market research on Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). The CDP Institute (also known as the “Customer Data Platform Institute”) is a research organization that provides information and training about customer data management and Customer Data Platforms (CDP). The institute provides a learning center, vendor directory, content library and online tools, so it’s a great place to do CDP market research or to find detailed information including CDP industry statistics.

Its tools include RFP builders, use case generators and a CDP use case template. The CDP Institute also provides live webinars, live events, pre-purchase workshops and post-purchase workshops. According to its website, the mission of the CDP Institute is “to help marketers and others make the best use of their customer data.”

Who founded the CDP Institute?

The CDP Institute was founded in 2016 by David Raab, who serves as CEO. David, a marketing consultant who specializes in marketing software and service vendor selection, is owner of Raab Associates. David named the CDP category in an April 2013 blog post titled “I’ve Discovered a New Class of System: the Customer Data Platform. Causata Is An Example.”

In the post, David detailed the emergence of systems that gather customer data from multiple sources, combine information across that data, then use the results to guide marketing treatments across channels. In an interview on “Marketing, CDPs, and Digital Transformation Post-Covid” on our blog, David notes that awareness grew slowly, but took off in 2016. According to David, “After 2016, awareness of the term and the general concept grew quickly, although there was considerable confusion about the exact definition.”

The CDPI also updates its state of the CDP market and CDP usage, so if you’re either doing CDP market research or looking for the best CDP for your business, that’s a good place to start for CDP industry statistics and suitable CDP vendors.


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What resources are available at CDP Institute?

The CDP Institute website features a wealth of resources about CDP vendors, vendor selection and implementation. The site’s Learning Center has four areas:

  1. What is a CDP?
  2. What is a RealCDP™?
  3. What is a CDP Used For?
  4. Training

The “Vendors” section of CDP Institute features the following:

  1. CDP Vendor Comparison
  2. Directory of CDP Vendors
  3. Directory of CDP Service Providers
  4. Vendor List / RFP Generator

In addition, the site has a rich content library and blog.

The Treasure Data website also features a number of resources—including CDP industry statistics—related to the CDP Institute:

What’s the relationship between vendors, service providers, and the CDP Institute?

Funding for the CDP Institute comes from CDP vendors, as well as vendors with related products. Funding also comes from CDP service providers and integrators. CDP Institute does not sell CDP products, vendor selection services, or implementation services. They do, however, provide content, tools, and training that help companies select CDP vendors and implement CDP products.

The CDP Institute’s Board of Advisors consists of industry experts and representatives from sponsors and partners. For example, Tom Treanor, CMO of Treasure Data, is a board member.

What are the benefits of becoming a CDP Institute member?

Individual membership to CDP Institute is free. Prospective members can sign up on the CDP Institute website. With the exception of the CDP Institute blog, most of the resources on the website are available to members only (free access). Members can subscribe to the institute’s email newsletters (the “CDP Newsletter” and the “CDPI Privacy Newsletter”), access the content library and tools, view vendor comparison reports, read summaries of recent CDP industry statistics, and receive early notice of limited-enrollment training classes.

Does the CDP Institute publish regular research?

The CDP Institute publishes a semi-annual “CDP Industry Update Report” that details CDP vendors: employment (i.e., the number of people employed by vendors), funding, geographic location, founding year, and more. The report includes four years of historical data collected at six month intervals. Download the CDP Industry Update July 2021 and you can get the full CDP market report here (registration required).

What is RealCDP™?

According to the CDP Institute, “RealCDP™ is a certification program managed by the CDP Institute. It defines a set of features required for a product to perform the functions that most users expect from a CDP. The intent is to reduce confusion among buyers of which systems to consider.”

According to CDP Institute, the requirements of RealCDP include:

  • Ingest data from all sources
  • Capture full detail of ingested data
  • Store ingested data indefinitely
  • Construct unified customer profiles
  • Make profiles available to any external system

Audits for RealCDP are performed by an independent authority. Vendors who pass the audit are issued a RealCDP badge. All CDP Institute sponsors meet the RealCDP criteria, including Treasure Data. Non-sponsors can request (and pay for) an audit to be certified.

More information can be found on the RealCDP website.

Is the CDP Institute active on social media?

The CDP Institute has a presence on Twitter (@CDPInstitute) and LinkedIn that they keep quite active. CDP Institute Founder and CEO David Raab is also active on Twitter (@draab). In addition, CDP Institute manages a Slack channel that’s open to members of the CDP community.

Does the CDP Institute host online and in-person events?

Yes, the CDP Institute hosts online and in-person events globally. Note: the scheduling of in-person events may be dependent on local health and safety guidelines. Check the Events page on the CDP Institute website for the most up-to-date listing of events.

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Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton is a former editorial director at IDG and former senior editor for InfoWorld and InformationWeek. She has written extensively about enterprise IT, business and environmental topics, and now serves as a senior marketing content manager for Treasure Data. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara, an Applied Math undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, and an MA in journalism from Mizzou. She also enjoys being a Toastmaster.
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