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What’s your ideal data quality strategy?

Erin Haselkorn Data quality

Data quality is something organizations know they need---eighty--nine percent of U.S. companies plan to make data quality solutions a priority in the next 12 months. But the question is, how do you get to a state of better data quality? What are the right solutions? Can’t data just magically appear accurate and fit for a given purpose?

In today’s data-driven economy, we all want data at our finger tips and we use it in a wide variety of ways across the business, from marketing automation, operations, consumer insights and so much more.

But to gain any value from data in these areas and more, we need to have an internal, first-party data source that is accurate, consolidated and complete for all customer information. Without that level of access, we can’t gain needed insight fast enough.

For most organizations, the utopia described above does not exist. U.S. organizations see that on average, 32 percent of their database is believed to be inaccurate. That is causing several issues, including to the bottom line, which 83 percent of companies believe is affected by bad data.

Why so much inaccurate information? It boils down to poor data management strategies. Today, 78 percent of U.S. companies could improve their level of data management sophistication.

How can your organization get to an ideal data quality strategy? Focus on three areas: people, processes and technology.

People are the backbone of data management in any organization, but right now professional resources are segmented by department. Just 35 percent of companies say data quality is reviewed and maintained centrally by a single director. To be optimized in a data management strategy, companies need a central owner. In fact, this is so important to most companies who have enjoyed a significant increase in profits in the last 12 months manage their data quality strategy in a centralized way.

Processes make sure data management functions properly within a business. They need to be consistent and proactive to ensure data is ready to use at all times. Companies today are plagued by human error and reactive data policies only fix issues after they cause a problem for the organization. With this in mind, it is not surprising that 92 percent of companies say they find some element around managing data challenging. The most significant is fixing data quality issues before they negatively impact the business.

When it comes to technology, many organizations still rely heavily on manual processes. But the volume of data today is simply too high to rely on manual management. Technology must be implemented, but in a centralized fashion. While 88 percent of companies have some sort of data quality solution in place today, they vary greatly depending on the organization, suggesting that businesses take a very varied approach to the types of solutions they have in place.

To be successful, companies need to be more strategic in their investment. They need to look at CDOs or central data owners, processes that put proactive strategies at the center and technology that is consistent across all channels and departments. While this type of strategy cannot be achieved over night, organizations can take small steps towards improving their data management. It just takes time and coordination to move the needle in the right direction.

For more information on how you can improve the people, processes and technology surrounding data management, check-out our white paper, Create your ideal data quality strategy.

Download the white paper