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The consequences of poor data quality for a business

Trouble with maintaining data quality is an ongoing problem that plagues numerous businesses, and if IT leaders don't take steps to improve the accuracy of their information, there could be serious consequences.

There are many ways that companies make mistakes with compiling and managing customer data. Human error is a big one. For example, when a customer is filling out a form on a business' website, he or she might make a careless mistake such as misspelling a word, providing an outdated address or giving the wrong phone number. Once these mistakes are added to the system, they can be difficult to correct.

They can also lead to long-term issues. Companies rely on accurate data to assist their marketing, sales and customer service efforts. If they don't have the right information on their customers, they're bound to waste time chasing leads that don't exist. Time, as they say, is money.

Research from Experian Data Quality has indicated just how widespread an impact these quality issues have. Experian polled numerous businesses about their data woes, and the findings were alarming - 88 percent of companies believe their bottom lines are affected by inaccurate and incomplete contact data.

Moreover, there are problems with tapping into business intelligence. In this "big data"-driven world, every company is looking to use more customer information for analyzing operations and finding ways to improve. Unfortunately, though, quality issues can make this next to impossible. Experian has found that 81 percent of organizations encounter problems when trying to generate meaningful business intelligence.

Problems with data quality are practically inevitable today. To err is human, and nearly everyone makes the occasional mistake entering customer information into databases. It's essential that companies take action to protect their data - if not, the consequences can be staggering.

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