Skip to main content

Data Management Research – Consumer expectation versus business reality

The results are in. This year’s Global Data Management Research makes for some particularly interesting reading with a clear focus on why growing customer expectation and the forthcoming regulation should be driving the need for better data management.

What struck me this year is the gap between awareness and action. Our annual survey shows that consumers and businesses alike recognise the value that data holds, yet companies are still struggling to progress their data maturity. This year this disparity becomes all the more serious with 2018’s GDPR deadline making it now operationally critical for organisations to get this right and put data quality at the forefront of the business agenda.

To give you a taste of the research I’ve selected five stand-out findings that illustrate key trends:

1) Consumers are now more aware of the value of their data

Consumers’ attitudes to the use of data is maturing as they appreciate its ‘value’ and also ‘vulnerability’. Businesses too are recognising this with 72% agreeing that data quality issues impact consumer trust and perception.

2) The business reality

Despite the fact that attitudes and opinions have shifted for the better, there’s still a pressing need for more concrete action before organisations can realise the true value of their data. In fact nearly half (48%) of the companies we surveyed are still in the early stages of data maturity to meet current regulations, let alone what’s ahead.

3) Regulation will be a driving force for better data management

The good news is that this year we saw that a large majority of organisations are on-board with what’s required for forthcoming regulation. 76% of respondents believe that in order to be transparent with data practises, an effective data management process needs to be in place. I anticipate that the looming deadline will surely have to spur businesses to take action and quickly.

 4) Taking responsibility is critical

Encouragingly, an early indicator of the progress to come is the introduction of senior data professionals that are required to deliver the necessary cultural change. 31% plan to hire a Data Protection Officer in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 37% plan to recruit ‘data champions’ and ‘data steward’ roles in 2017.

5) A single customer view (SCV) is essential

Having a SCV remains highly advantageous to businesses as people become more sophisticated in their appreciation of data.  As the regulatory landscape evolves it will become an absolute must because, without it, reacting to time sensitive Subject Access Requests (SARs) or data portability requests will be difficult.

Current levels of data maturity still let organisations down in this area, with two thirds (64%) agreeing that inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.  As a result I think we’ll see more organisations fast-tracking their SCV ambitions over the next year.

Overall it seems to me that 2017 may well be the tipping point where organisations have to take data quality and management beyond a nice to have and make it operationally critical.  Without doing so they minimise their ability to drive trust with customers and could be faced with significant fines.

If you’d like to delve deeper into the research and benchmark your own data maturity, a full version is available to download by clicking the banner below. Alternatively, you can download the webinar where we shared the results of the research here.