Joel Curry, MD of Experian QAS shares his views on the importance of quality data.
The economic outlook is shaky and the pressure on budgets doesn’t seem likely to ease off anytime soon. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Every business already holds customer data that can drive efficiency, profitability and growth. The data must be accurate to work such magic, therefore investment in data quality is essential, as is a solid data strategy. It will not only help businesses ensure that budget is spent effectively, it will even help liberate lost budget.
Organisational understanding of the issue of data quality and accuracy is high, but achieving data accuracy continues to be a challenge for companies. Dynamic Markets, on behalf of Experian QAS, measured companies’ attitudes to data quality and confirmed this challenge, as well as that over 90 per cent believe that their customer and prospect data might be inaccurate.
So how badly does inaccurate data affect budgets? On average 15-18 percent – or around £1 in every £6 - of departmental budget is wasted by UK companies on duplicated mailings, lost contacts and missed sales opportunities. That’s a lot of budget for any company, big or small.
The main reason for poor quality data is human error, but human input is still a major part of data checking processes. However, companies are increasingly turning to technology solutions to ensure accuracy, with seven in 10 companies using either point of capture software or back-end contact data cleaning solutions – still only 15 per cent have completely automated systems.
The research confirms the growing sense that investing in data pays off. Three quarters of UK businesses have invested in upgrading their data management system in the past two years and the rewards can be rich; nine out of 10 of UK companies that did so have seen an associated increase in profits of £792,980, according to the research. Couple this with better customer understanding and increased loyalty and there is no doubt that there are many opportunities available to companies that invest in high quality data to fully harness its power.