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Event spotlight: MIT CDO 2019 Conference

The Struggle to Realize Data’s Potential

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the 13th Annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium (MITCDOIQ). It was a pleasure to present to such a talented group of individuals committed to data and how organizations can use it to improve a host of business initiatives. I was able to meet data management professionals from across the globe (don’t think South Africa and Austria aren’t making the most of their data initiatives, too!).

Together with stellar sales engineer, Brolin Rodrigues, we were able to explore the rich insights of our Global Data Management Report and the trends and impact that data management initiatives are having on today’s businesses.

Improving customer experience and data security (53 percent and 52 percent of respondents, respectively) are top-of-mind for executive leaders, and as we know, improving customer experience has a direct correlation on the accuracy of a company’s data. In fact, 69 percent of businesses report that inaccurate data is undermining the ability to provide an excellent customer experience.

We also discussed trust (or lack thereof) in data. On average, respondents report that 29 percent of company data is inaccurate. That is a significant percentage of data to not trust! This is causing executive leaders to question their strategic decisions, or worse, hesitate to make decisions, potentially missing out on market opportunities strictly because they lack trust in their data. In fact, 95 percent of organizations see impacts on their business due to poor data quality. One of the biggest contributors to this poor data quality continues to be human error.

Brolin and I were able to share a number of stories about data quality mishaps due to human error—anything from legitimate mistakes in date formats or mismatched fields to employees entering false information to meet data entry bonus quota. As long as humans are still entering data, there will be plenty of work for data quality tools and experts!

Single customer view (SCV) was also a hot topic within the report. We discussed the changes in the marketplace around a central, companywide definition of SCV to more of a departmental definition. This departmental definition allows different areas of an organization—such as accounting, marketing, customer support, and others—to define a customer as they see. Forty-two percent of companies now report SCV as being defined at a departmental level.

Data ownership was one of the final topics—and a great way to end our presentation given the audience in the room. We discussed the transition that data ownership is currently undergoing from IT to the business. While 51 percent of survey respondents believe data ownership still currently lives in IT, 76 percent of respondents believe this should ultimately live with the business. What most companies are realizing is that the bridge from IT to the business requires a data-focused group—data stewards, scientists, analysts—within the organization to shepherd the change. These data-focused groups are typically driven by a CDO role, which led us right back to the importance of this conference and the audience we had the pleasure of speaking with in the room!

Brolin and I had a great time presenting (and conversing) about data quality and data management. It is always a pleasure to speak to the importance of data quality and how it applies to the wide variety of initiatives our audience is undertaking with their data. I look forward to keeping these connections and conversations going far into the future!


Read the 2019 Global data management report to explore the data today!

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