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Data inaccuracy plagues companies more than they realize

Employees everywhere, across all departments of numerous companies, rely on consumer data to help them make more precise decisions. Whether it's marketing, sales, customer service or any one of countless other areas, businesses have plenty to gain from collecting data about consumers, their contact information and their spending habits.

When that data is accurate, it can be a tremendous boon to any business. But more often than not, there are problems with data quality that get in the way.

Names get misspelled in companies' databases. Addresses are saved, but they happen to be inaccurate or out of date. People give the wrong email addresses, the wrong phone numbers and so on. Mistakes are everywhere. Sometimes a record is perfectly fine, but then a duplicate copy shows up for the same person, and there's a mistake in the second entry.

These mistakes are incredibly common in today's fast-paced, data-driven business world. Companies are racing to collect as much information as possible, and they don't often take the proper precautions to verify it all.

According to research from Experian Data Quality, this has become a widespread concern for business leaders. Today, approximately 91 percent of companies suffer from common data quality errors.

These errors aren't just minor one-off concerns here and there - unfortunately, it's a significant portion of companies' data that's been affected. Experian estimates that 25 percent of the data currently owned by U.S. organizations is inaccurate.

There are many causes for all of these quality issues, but the most common one is quite simple - human error. Customers and employees alike are often the ones inputting data into systems by hand, and they're inevitably going to make mistakes. When this happens, businesses must be willing to take the proper precautions to purify their information. This can be the key to business success.