Rise of customer data leaves firms with mountain to climb

DataIQ News

New research confirms what many in the data community have been predicting for years, that customer data will soon be driving every part of business strategy, but with it comes a warning that most companies feel ill-equipped to manage this information effectively.

According to the Experian study - which analysed repsonses from 1,400 businesses across eight countries - 84% said their organisation now sees data as an integral part of forming their business strategy.

However, almost a quarter say their customer data is inaccurate, with the most common errors being incomplete or missing data, out-dated information, duplicates and inconsistencies. Businesses estimate they could boost sales by almost a third (29%) if their customer data was completely accurate.

Increasing volumes of data and a shift in channel usage are also adding to the complexity of data management. Data volumes are on the rise, with 39% of respondents claiming their organisation manages 50 or more contact databases - up from just 10% last year. Use of social media is reported to have grown by 81% in the last 12 months.

But help could soon be at hand as 82% of businesses are looking to hire ‘data-centric’ roles as part of their data management strategy in the next few years. 

Boris Huard, head of data quality at Experian, said: “The way organisations perceive the value of data is maturing rapidly and this latest research reinforces that. The digitalisation of our world means that we are all now confronted by a sometimes overwhelming amount of data to manage. Getting your data strategy right is critical to business success.

“It is encouraging that we are seeing a clear response with more and more appointments of ‘data champions’ who are entering organisations at board level and have the skill set to drive change and culture from the top."

"Those who put data at the centre of their business strategy will reap the rewards and make their organisation more agile, competitive and forward thinking, in a hyper-competitive market.”

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