Read our research to learn how Experian can help

We have officially launched our annual global data management research. This year, we surveyed 700 business leaders across the US, UK, and Brazil to get their perspective on usage of data throughout the pandemic.

Although data management initiatives have been top-of-mind for years, most businesses quickly realized their data was not ready for the rapid transformation they needed to sustain the global health crisis. In hindsight, businesses should have invested in data management earlier, so they had the right information as they responded to the market shifts due to the pandemic.

Here are three major findings we wanted to highlight from this year’s study:

72 percent of businesses say an acceleration of digital transformation has made their business more reliant on data and data insights

Customer experience and data security have remained top business priorities over the last few years. However, these initiatives are more important today than ever before, especially when it comes to digital transformation.

Rapid digital transformation has made businesses reliant on high-quality data. Why? With unpredictable changes in consumer buying behaviors and non-essential employees working from home, digital engagement and operations have become key to sustaining business growth during economic crisis.

With stores closed, overwhelmed distribution and shipping warehouses, and unpredictable supply chains, businesses need to leverage online platforms, like their website and social media, to stay engaged with customers. Nowadays, it’s not unusual for a brand’s customer experience to be solely digital.

Furthermore, with increased online activity and remote work, there’s a chance consumer or operational data could be at higher risk of unwanted actions or unauthorised users. This is where data security plays an important role in keeping records, and the business, safe.

Andrew Abraham, Global Managing Director of Experian’s data quality division, says,

“From the efficiency of the customer experience online to the data that helps us analyse markets and attitudes changing at a dizzying pace, the right data has become indispensable.”

Woman in mask reading data

93 percent of businesses had data management issues as result of the pandemic

We have always looked at the maturity level of data quality in the market. We find that businesses continue to lack data quality maturity despite the current demands for data insights. Fifty-five percent of business leaders say they lack trust in their data assets, hindering their ability to be fully data driven.

The level of inaccurate data has remained high over the past five years of this study. Organizations believe about a third of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way. Additionally, only 50 percent believe their CRM/ERP data is clean and can be fully leveraged.

Poor data quality creates several barriers within organizations, regardless of their maturity. While data can be inaccurate for several reasons, such as human error or natural data decay, the impact is the same. Ninety-five percent of businesses have seen impacts related to poor data quality.

This could mean that poor quality data:

  • Damages the reliability of analytics (36%)
  • Negatively affects customer experience (32%)
  • Harmfully impacts reputation and customer trust (32%)

These challenges are difficult to overcome in any economy, especially one facing a pandemic.

Another challenging area is the inability to be agile with data. While 84 percent of respondents experienced greater demand for data insights, 62 percent admit a lack of agility in data processes hurt their response to changing business needs.

Ensuring high-quality data and agility within data practices is vital to improve customer experience, streamline operations, and accelerate digital transformation. By investing in data management now, businesses can sustain success despite any future market changes that are out of their control.

asian couple

77 percent of companies say investing in data management initiatives today will help businesses better weather the next crisis

Over the next 6 months, 63 percent of organizations see data management initiatives becoming more urgent—and the reason is resilience. Nine out of ten businesses are focused on improving data management resilience to at least some degree over the next year.

Businesses are investing in several key areas of data management like improving data quality, refining data governance, moving data to the cloud, and automating data processes. Since data can help prepare for the future, organizations across industries are hopping onto the data train.

This means that businesses need the right people, processes, and technology to increase their data quality maturity and prepare their data, and business, for the future. It’s important for companies to invest in the right areas of data today to recognize return on investment more quickly, build data resilience, and secure their future.

During the pandemic, businesses continue to struggle with a lack of technology, data quality, and skills. To overcome these challenges, consider leveraging data validation software. This can verify data at the point of capture and can automate the data cleansing process to ensure data pipelines contain valuable and accurate insights. Furthermore, with a data literacy program, businesses can enable their staff to analyze and manage valid data and streamline their time to focus on growing their bottom line.

The right people, processes, and tools will not only help a business respond to the challenges they face in today’s environment, but also ensure a stable foundation.

This past year we have seen the true power of data. With reliable information, businesses have the strength to confidently pivot strategies as market shifts arise, sustain the impact of the global health crisis, and prepare for what’s ahead.

Read the full report to learn how what you can do today to leverage data to respond to the current global health crisis and prepare for tomorrow. Download the research.