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The 'silo effect' and how it impacts companies' levels of data quality

Rachel Wheeler Archive

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are reliant upon numerous stockpiles of data to help them complete everyday tasks. When a company collects information on its customers, the benefits are undeniable - marketers can deliver better advertising messages, merchants can close more sales and customer service departments can improve their consumer care strategies.

Thanks to the rise of modern technology, data collection has more potential now than ever before. Simply put, consumers today absolutely love to keep in touch with their brands. They're connecting via websites, they're transmitting information through social media and they're always on their mobile phones. They're sending out data through all of these methods, and companies can make good use of it.

This high-tech explosion is both a blessing and a curse. More data is a good thing, but the variety of disparate channels can be taxing when it comes to companies' levels of data quality. Business leaders need to be careful because of this "silo" effect.

According to research from Experian Data Quality, the average business uses 3.4 different channels to collect contact information from customers. With all of that information coming in different formats, being input by different people, it's nearly impossible to keep all of it uniform and easy to use.

Experian has also found that 78 percent of companies admit to having problems with the quality of data from the channels they use. This isn't surprising - especially when people transmit their information via smartphones or social networks, they're prone to rushing and making mistakes. If companies don't take steps to correct this erroneous information, they might get themselves into trouble.

Likewise, 84 percent of business leaders admit that they face challenges as they attempt cross-channel marketing. Selling a product to consumers via a Facebook ad might not be equally effective as connecting via a mobile app. With all the channels out there today, many companies are struggling to keep all the silos straight.