Are you in control of your data? Five takeaways from our Global Data Management Research

The results are in and today sees the launch of Experian’s 2019 Global Data Management Report. This yearly research project benchmarks how well organisations across the globe are using their data to meet strategic objectives.

Business is evolving as the modern consumer has new and increasingly digital demands, we face disruption from new markets, and we see regulatory pressure to increase transparency and respect consumer privacy. That’s why we believe this research is so important – it allows us to understand the successes and, importantly, identify the challenges organisations face when it comes to leveraging value from what’s now a major business asset.

Customer experience ambitions are being challenged by bad data

So what did we find out? This year little has changed when it comes to customer experience being the top strategic business driver that will allow organisations to compete effectively in the new world of the digital consumer. What we find most interesting in this year’s research however, is how well organisations are using their data to do this.

There’s overwhelming evidence that data can assist in achieving customer experience ambitions – 98% of companies use data to improve it and it’s the top data-driven competitive advantage. But we also know that these strategic intentions aren’t being realised, largely because they are struggling to get control in two main areas – developing data trust and getting access to it. Organisations told us they suspect almost a third of data is inaccurate and 70% say they don’t have the direct control over data they need to impact strategic objectives – namely customer experience.

How does your organisation measure up?

In our research report, global experts from Experian delve further into the specific areas where businesses are feeling this lack of control. First, we look at how data directly impacts customer experience and why having context around data for a particular department or user prevents that ever-elusive single customer view. Second, organisations lack trust in their data. Data is often incomplete and inaccurate, which means stakeholders are not fully leveraging the information they have access to. Finally, I look at how businesses lack the right ownership or strong data leadership within their organisation that allows them to access and take advantage of this resource.

It’s a useful report if you’re interested in benchmarking how well your organisation is managing data but ahead of reading it, here’s a taster:

  1. 69% believe inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience This stat really crystallises the extent to which organisations are feeling the pain of managing their data quality in practise to meet customer experience aspirations. It’s really encouraging that organisations however are joining the dots and recognising that improving customer experience goes hand in hand with good data. That’s the first step. The next is to try to pin down more specifically “how” and ideally put a value against this which will build a credible business case for making improvements.
  2. 42% say that the biggest driver for achieving a SCV is improving customer experience Businesses are evidently very clear on the fact that having a holistic view of customers is fundamental in delivering against customer expectations. This is the foundation of building a more rounded Universal Customer View which overlays additional data and analytics to provide the sorts of insights that businesses now need to stay competitive in the digital age.
  3. 95% of organisations see impacts from poor data quality Fixing data quality may seem low on the priority scale against the “whizz bang” of new data-led innovations but this stat shows that it should actually be at the top. When it comes to getting value from your data, you get out what you put in. If the quality is poor it will impact everything from day to day operations through to the ability to make well-informed strategic decisions about how to best serve customers.
  4. The biggest contributor to a lack of data accuracy is human error (50%) Human error comes up yet again this year as the main reason for inaccurate data. If organisations can’t focus efforts on identifying and fixing this issue, it will be hard to move the needle on building more relevant, engaging experiences for customers because those errors will always come creeping back in.
  5. 75% think responsibility for data quality should ultimately lie within the business with occasional help from IT This stat indicates to me that change is coming. That three quarters of organisations want to make data more centrally accessible shows that they’re not getting the control they need to drive change and deliver on their customer experience aspirations. How they do that is complex and something I discuss in the report, but what seems very clear is that IT is not the right place for data management to sit.

 

I’d recommend having a read of the report if you’re looking for some pointers on where to develop your data management efforts. We’ve also published several useful blogs that focus on the topics uncovered by our research. I’d recommend:

You can download and read the full Global Data Management Report here.