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Rapid data quality change is helping business transformation

Erin Haselkorn

The data quality market continues to change at a rapid pace, with businesses demanding more from their information and looking to leverage analytics in interesting new ways. Data will continue to be a critical element as businesses look to transform operations and become more digital.

Some of the biggest changes we have noticed in the market over recent years include:

1. Business users taking responsibility for data
There is a fundamental shift in how business end-users want to consume data today. Traditionally, the IT department would maintain information and pulled data reports for individuals as it was needed. However, with digital business and the need for real-time analysis and analytics, business users don’t want to wait in a line for data insight.

Business stakeholders want to do it themselves. This shift is bringing rise to trends like data preparation and data-as-a-service. Business users are putting people, processes, and technology in place within their own departments to manage and manipulate data, which is changing the way data quality programs need to operate.

2. A slow shift between data defense and offense
Many companies used to invest in data primarily for regulatory compliance. For instance, financial institutions needed to have a single view of the customer for federal regulators. While those regulations are still a driving force in data quality initiatives, and will increase with the new privacy regulations in Europe, more businesses are starting to look at data initiatives for business growth.

Data can be viewed as a financial asset that can be leveraged to improve the customer experience or be monetized for its own direct impact on the bottom line. This shift between having to maintain data because someone was threatening you, to using data to add business value, has been interesting to watch.

3. Increased interest in Cloud applications
Awareness in software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology is continuing to grow across many elements of the technology sector, including data quality. Data quality tools can be integrated with cloud data storage or CRM systems or simply used on their own to minimize IT burden and ensure updated technology.

While a relatively small number of organizations use cloud data quality solutions today, the interest continues to grow in this area and we expect many of our own clients will buy our solutions in the cloud over the next several years.

However, there are far more trends driving the market than just those three I highlighted. Some of these changes were recently outlined in the Gartner report ‘The State of Data Quality: Current Practices and Evolving Trends’ by Saul Judah and Ted Friedman.

The analysts discuss how the market continues to grow, but poor data quality is still costing companies millions of dollars annually. In fact, in a 2015 Gartner survey on the usage and adoption of data quality tools, respondents estimated that they were losing an average of $8.8 million annually because of issues with data quality.

We look forward to seeing these trends continue to change the market and being a part of the data evolution.

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