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“Control issues” see businesses struggling to realize data’s full potential

2/12/2019


Seven in 10 businesses struggle to unlock data’s true potential because of a lack of control, leaving many businesses with untrusted data that undermines business innovation and customer interactions, new research from Experian has revealed.

The Global Data Management report, which surveyed 1,000 data practitioners from organizations around the world, found that although three-quarters (75%) think responsibility for data should ultimately lie across multiple departments, with the occasional help from IT, only 13% are currently doing it.

Incorrect ownership (69%), lack of trust in data (49%) and information overload (65%) are the three key factors preventing businesses from leveraging data to achieve their strategic objectives.  95% also admit seeing detrimental effects from poor data quality, which could be negatively affecting customer experience, business efficiency and organizational reputation.

The report also found that:

  • Although nearly all (98%) of companies use data to improve their customer experience, 89% admit managing their data is a challenge.
  • Businesses also struggle due to incomplete data (38%), a lack of skills to manipulate and gain insights around data (33%) and a lack of trust in data (33%).

Mike Kilander, Global Managing Director, Data Quality at Experian, said: “From the research, we are seeing a broad range of business stakeholders looking for more control over their data, as many struggle to access valuable information and develop trust in it. We see year after year that despite ambitions, many businesses fail to take full advantage of the opportunity that data can provide because current infrastructure and management practices are not set-up to handle today’s digital consumer.

“However, we are seeing more organizations establishing stronger data leadership steered by a Chief Data Officer (CDO).  New leadership, empowered by business-user focused technology, can deliver the strategic direction to ensure the right people have access to trusted data and deliver the best outcomes for the business.”

Changing Data Ownership

A lack of control over information impedes the ability of 70% of businesses to meet strategic objectives. The problem lies with who is responsible for managing data - 84% say information is processed by IT who have many other priorities than just data quality or analytics. As a result, more than half (56%) of companies say these teams don’t have an understanding of the organization’s data management needs.

Putting a Chief Data Officer in place is now a well-established practice for many organizations.  However, it is key to implement the right strategies to reinforce both data compliance and security, along with allowing quick access to data for immediate business use.

Current processes conflict with how organizations want to see data managed. Three in four (75%) think responsibility for data quality should lie within the business, meaning those who use information are responsible for its upkeep.  Adopting a delegated approach means teams which use data and its insights for their day-to-day jobs, are also in charge of how it is created and processed.

Creating data confidence

One in three (33%) organizations view trust as a major challenge when extracting value from data. On average, companies believe 29% of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way.  A further one in three report data being difficult to leverage because it is incomplete (38%) or not accessible through a single customer view (36%).

Human error is the main reason for mistrust in data. 50% think poor quality is down to it being inputted incorrectly, with other reasons for mistrust being information spread out across multiple sources (39%) and having an inadequate data strategy (30%). This means firms do not have confidence in insights or conclusions, because they might not represent the whole picture of a customer or situation.

Realizing opportunities

Despite these issues, almost all (99%) businesses acknowledge being data-driven provides a competitive advantage. From improving customer experience (54%) and better insight for decision-making (51%), to more efficient business practices (52%), firms acknowledge the benefit of using data on their bottom line.

As a result, organizations are shifting their mind-set, with 89% seeing it as essential for succeeding in the digital market place. The biggest driver for improving data processes is improving customer experience. At present, 69% think inaccurate data is undermining their ability to do this. Yet companies are seeking to change this, with 53% of organizations focusing on it.

To see the full report, click here.


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