Data has transformed the way the world conducts business, but a new global business survey, commissioned by Experian, has found that many companies are still struggling to keep pace with customer expectations and increased scrutiny.
Seven in 10 (72%) of companies said that data quality issues had affected trust and perception by their customers, who are increasingly aware of the value of their data and their vulnerability if it’s not handled appropriately. With more and more customer interactions now taking place online, there is a growing challenge for businesses. Four in five (81%) continue to report difficulties in achieving a single customer view, while 64% concede that inaccurate data is currently undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.
Many businesses also admit they are struggling to meet existing data regulations, let alone adapt to the imminent enforcement of a more complex set of rules through the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be introduced from May 2018. Nearly half (48%) of companies surveyed are still in the early stages of developing their data maturity to meet current regulations.
Experian’s Rebecca Hennessy said: “We now live in a world built on data and companies of all sizes are in possession of more information about their customers than ever before.
Our survey demonstrates that businesses recognise the importance of data accuracy, and rightly so, it needs to be a primary focus to ensure they gain and maintain their customer’s trust. Companies have always been hamstrung by data quality issues, but with the imminent enforcement of new regulations it is now operationally critical for them to get their data management right.”
The Experian survey also found that businesses have been rewarded when they have been proactive. Seven in 10 (69%) said when they have made investments in data quality solutions they have seen a return on investment.
Senior data professionals are required to deliver the necessary cultural change. Seven in 10 (70%) companies agree that increasing regulation has driven the need for better data analytics and management, while 31% plan to hire a Data Protection Officer in the next 12 months. Furthermore, 37% plan to recruit ‘data champions’ and ‘data steward’ roles in 2017.