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Errors in data quality can have a far-reaching impact

Richard Jones

June 25, 2014

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The steady growth of analytics in recent years has presented itself to the business world as a double-edged sword. On one hand, the wealth of consumer data available today has made it easier than ever for companies to collect relevant information and use it to improve their marketing strategies. But on the flip side of that coin, as the quantity of knowledge increases, so too does the potential for errors in data quality.

Such mishaps happen all the time. Often, employees will make errors in transcribing people's contact information, or the consumers themselves may make mistakes if they're sloppily entering data into online forms. There's also the constant threat that people's data can become outdated - every time someone moves into a new home or gets a new phone or email account, their personal information changes. It's next to impossible for companies to stay on top of all these updates.

According to TechRadar, data errors can cause clear financial repercussions for any business. It's expensive to correct and resend marketing messages that are sent in error, not to mention controlling the PR spin that's necessary after such an incident. But Jeffery Brown, product manager at data specialist Infogix, warned the news source that there are other effects of data quality errors besides just the monetary bottom line.

"When data errors are publicly exposed, it affects not only the company's customer relationship, but it tarnishes the brand's image for a long while," Brown said. "This is something that is hard to measure, because image is not a tangible asset. Realistically, data errors can also affect a company's perceived value, as well as deterring future customers from doing business with you."

It's therefore clear that companies need to do everything in their power to ensure high-quality data. If they fail to do so, they may face consequences that are long-lasting and difficult to overcome.

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