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Customer data is now essential to businesses

Even though a vast majority of businesses (79 per cent) understand the value of their data, and its money-making capabilities, almost all of them (90 per cent) believe they need a more sophisticated approach to the problem.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by Experian, analysing 1,400 businesses in eight countries.

So, what’s the problem with data? Inaccuracy. On average, almost 25 per cent of customer data is inaccurate, be it missing data, duplicate or out of date data. Businesses find accurate data very important – they believe they could increase sales by almost a third (29 per cent) if customer data was completely accurate.

The amount of data is growing – back in 2012, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created – and that year, mobile penetration was at 61 per cent of the global population. Imagine how interesting things will become it hits 70 per cent (estimated time: 2017).

But businesses are preparing for the data onslaught – 84 per cent said they see data as an integral part of their business strategy, and 82 are looking for a ‘data-centric’ role, such as the Chief Data Officer.

Boris Huard, Experian, said: “The way organisations perceive the value of data is maturing rapidly and this latest research reinforces that. The digitalisation of our world means that we are all now confronted by a sometimes overwhelming amount of data to manage. Getting your data strategy right is critical to business success.”

“It is encouraging that we are seeing a clear response with more and more appointments of ‘data champions’ who are entering organisations at board level and have the skill set to drive change and culture from the top.” added Huard.

“This is even more important in a digital world where data, processing and interconnectivity are everywhere, meaning poor data quality can have a profound impact.

“Conversely, those who put data at the centre of their business strategy will reap the rewards and make their organisation more agile, competitive and forward thinking, in a hyper-competitive marketplace.”