Skip to main content

The Well-Oiled Data Machine


Georgina Adamson 3 minute read Data quality

Our new infographic ‘The Well-Oiled Data Machine’ illustrates some of our key findings from the Experian Data Quality 2014 Global Research report.

Whilst 99% of organisations understand the importance of having clean and refined data, organisations are still experiencing data inefficiencies and malfunctions. Data is the oil that keeps the business cogs turning, however businesses will only have good quality outputs if the data going in is fit for purpose. Lack of data quality control can result in business inefficiencies, poor customer service and inaccurate insights.

86% of companies admitted that their data might be inaccurate in some way. 44% of businesses said that missing or incomplete data is the most common problem with outdated contact information (41%) being the second most problematic.

Our research also concluded that 75% of businesses are wasting 14% of revenue due to poor data quality. This equates to a staggering £197.788m wasted revenue across UK businesses.¹

When it comes to the reasons behind poor data quality it seems multi-channels are playing a key role in driving these inaccuracies with 52% saying the issues start at their call centre, whilst 49% say it occurs mostly on the website.

38% of those surveyed use point of capture solutions to verify customer information and 34% use back- office cleaning solutions. What is surprising however is that 23% of organisations depend purely on manual methods to check their data.

Human error is also a key factor with 59% of organisations saying this plays a significant part when it comes to data quality problems. Poor internal communications (31%) and insufficient budgets (20%) are other factors damaging data quality in organisations.

The infographic also highlights what the key drivers are for a more robust data strategy. 62% say increased efficiency is the most important factor, with customer satisfaction (54%) and cost savings  (44%) and customer profiling (43%) not far behind.

Despite 99% of organisations having a data quality strategy in place, the above statistics clearly show that basic data quality issues are still occurring, sparking much debate around best practices. A data quality strategy needs to be effectively scoped with clear metrics to define success or failure and data quality machinery needs to be considered as part of a broader data quality strategy.

All data used in this infographic is drawn from ‘Global Data Quality Research 2014,’ an independent market research report commissioned by Experian Data Quality and produced by Dynamic Markets.

¹Average turnover of UK businesses with 250+ employees: £212 million. Source: The Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills (