It has been claimed that people now spend more time on tech than they do sleeping. According to the latest figures, connection to a mobile network or the internet is near universal, giving consumers the ability to communicate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and from any location.
Our habits have changed and so have our attitudes towards even the things that we formerly would only ever have contemplated managing offline. If you consider that around 86% of people now do their banking online, there’s no doubt that over the last few years we have witnessed a significant shift in the levels of engagement with the digital world.
As part of this data-driven digital revolution, people are regularly faced with requests for their data. Whether it’s to make a purchase or to set up a social media account, most people are familiar with this interaction and most have rarely questioned it.
Rising consumer concern
However, people are becoming increasingly interested and concerned about how businesses are handling their data. Experian’s recent collaborative research with Data IQ highlighted three major groupings of attitudes in this area. It found that consumers are either “Trusting”, “Rational” or “Cautious” when it comes to the use of their data, with “Cautious” being the most significant group and the disposition of half of those surveyed. But even this group, who’d prefer not to share their personal information, still see the value of a data exchange where necessary.
Businesses are falling short of expectations
These same consumers identified a number of times when data quality had fallen short of their expectations, with 83% citing that they have received duplicate or irrelevant information. More concerning is that just over half notice simple data quality errors in their contact information - and that’s just the mistakes they notice!
According to the research, this is falling short of their expectations with 70% stating that organisations should get personal data right every time. This is likely to have a knock-on effect on the perception of the brand and, more importantly, trust.
Transform relationships and drive monetary value
In our 2016 Global Data Management Research, we found that organisations were increasingly focused on how they could better utilise information to transform relationships and revenues. With 84% of organisations citing that they see data as an integral part of forming a business strategy. Clearly, businesses see the value of data, but 79% of businesses stated that data quality problems were either having a very significant or at least some impact on their organisations. Respondents went as far as to say that they believed they could increase sales by as much as 29% if their customer data was fully accurate.
Data needs to be handled in the interest of consumers
In order to reap these benefits and build trust and loyalty, businesses need to focus on managing their data responsibly and in the best interest of the consumer. Adopting frameworks and implementing data quality measures are essential to build trust for consumers and provide the confidence that data is being used in a secure, compliant and justified manner.
People are calling out for this, with over 70% stating that firms should get personal details right every time. Achieving 100% accuracy might seem challenging, but the flipside of not doing this could be detrimental to the longevity of a brand and result in an accumulation of costs spent on wasted marketing communications, missed sales opportunities and even, potentially, regulatory fines.
Businesses are lacking in data maturity
However, despite this, when businesses were asked to review their level of data maturity, 61% described themselves as still in the planning, early or developing stages. What’s clear is that businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to putting their data strategy truly first. The real concern is that, despite businesses seeing the intrinsic value of accurate information, they’re still not getting it right.