Confidence in data quality leaves a lot to be desired

According to new research from data intelligence firm Blazent there's a major disconnect between executive attitudes to data quality and the effect that bad data can have on the business.

Based on a study by 451 Research of 200 C-level and senior IT leaders, the report reveals that fewer than half (40 per cent) of C-level executives and data scientists are 'very confident' in their organisation's data quality. Yet a majority (94 per cent) recognise the impact poor data quality has on business outcomes.

Areas that can be affected by poor quality data include lost revenue (42 per cent) and bad decision-making (39 per cent). When asked about the root causes for poor data quality, nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents cited data migration as a leading cause.

In large enterprises it's IT which still bears the burden of keeping data clean (79 per cent) despite the introduction of data scientists (26 per cent). In cases where costly data scientists are involved, one-third report spending up to 90 per cent of their time on cleaning up raw data. In addition, the challenge of maintaining data quality is exacerbated by conventional methods used to ensure data quality. 41 per cent rely on applications to validate data, 38 per cent manually cleanse data and a worrying 10 per cent either don't know what they're doing or employ a 'hope for the best' approach.

"After listening to customers for over 15 years, we've developed an acute understanding of the pain and loss poor quality data can have on a business," says Gary Oliver, CEO at Blazent. "While data scientists became one of the most coveted roles in IT this past year, the reality is that CIOs and IT leaders still carry the burden of maintaining the proper checks and balances for data quality, and it will be incumbent on them to solve this unwieldy problem as data volumes continue to escalate".

Despite the problems maintaining quality, the importance of good data is widely recognised. 81 per cent of respondents say they use data analytics to uncover new revenue opportunities, and it's perceived as having a direct impact on increased revenues (51 per cent) and lower costs (49 per cent).

The amount of data is growing too, with 95 per cent expecting data sources and volumes to triple in the next 12 months. More information on the findings can be found on the Blazent website.

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