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Bad data holding back UK businesses

New findings from Experian Data Quality indicates that data quality is a major issue for UK plc. Although 99% of businesses have a data quality strategy, many fully admit to still having problems with their data, with 86% thinking their data might be inaccurate in some way.

44% of those surveyed said that incomplete, missing data is the most common problem for them and 41% said that it’s outdated data that is their biggest issue. Key drivers for having clean and quality data include business efficiency (62%), customer satisfaction (54%), cost savings (44%) and customer profiling (43%).

But what are the major causes for bad data quality?
The research suggests that a major cause is down to multi-channel strategies. Nowadays businesses collect data from various channels which is increasing the room for error. The research also concluded that gaps in contact data are seen are the biggest barrier to successful cross channel marketing with 84% saying it is their biggest barrier. 49% think data errors stem from the website and 52% recognise that the call centre is their most problematic channel.

The cost of bad data
Human error, lack of resources and inadequate data strategies all constitute to poor data but what are the true costs? The truth is, poor data is having significant detrimental effects on business efficiency. 81% of those surveyed said they’ve found it difficult to generate meaningful business intelligence.

Over 70% of those who run loyalty programmes say they they’ve suffered problems through having inaccurate customer information (34%) and not having enough information about their customers (24%). When it came to inaccurate email addresses, 67% reported problems with email deliverability -  28% said customer service had suffered as a result of poor email hygiene and 26% said that had been unable to communicate with customers due to inaccurate information.

Shockingly the research identified that 75% of businesses waste an average of 14% of revenue on bad data quality which equates to £197.788m every year! Failure for businesses to get to grips with data could mean ever-increasing costs. Not just in terms of wasted budget or revenue, but also reputation, ability to engage with customers and prospects as well as regulatory fines.

The majority of the organisations surveyed do in fact have a data quality strategy (99%). However, organisations are still seeing fundamental flaws with their data which are having negative effects on business performance and efficiency.

Despite this the research does conclude that data quality is moving up the corporate agenda and will be key to the success of the crucial projects UK businesses will carry out this year, including cross channel marketing, big data and analytics. Businesses are quite rightly realising that the era of quantity over quality data is over. Organisations are becoming  more aware of the value that consumer data can bring and the costs that poor data can have on the bottom line.

Georgina Adamson, Digital Marketing Executive, Experian

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