The Struggle to Realize Data’s Potential Ignites a Debate

The following is written by Mike Kilander, Global Managing Director, Data Quality, at Experian

With companies facing increasingly complex data challenges that can determine the success or failure of their business, never has it been so important to have accurate and reliable data. Businesses encounter almost continuous disruption – frequently driven by accelerated data insights – and increasing regulatory pressure to improve transparency and ensure consumer privacy. Moreover, the modern consumer brings online expectations and digital demands, requiring companies to respond ever faster and more  than before. One-to-one marketing has become the new digital experience.

To handle these new digital demands and market pressure, organizations must improve their ability to leverage their data and gather key insights, especially on their ever-changing customers. But while there is more information available than ever before, data is a largely untapped resource. Why are we drowning in data, yet starved for insight?

There are two key areas where organizations are struggling: developing trust in the accuracy of their data and gaining access to it. Organizations told us they suspect almost a third of their data is inaccurate, which limits their ability to leverage data to drive improved business outcomes.  If you can’t trust your information, how are you supposed to make big strategic business decisions with it. Second, the average business user can’t get timely access to the data or insight they need. In fact, 70% say that not having direct control over data impacts their ability to meet strategic objectives. Too often, access to data only comes after the submission of an IT ticket and weeks of waiting.

We see, year after year, many businesses fail to take full advantage of the opportunity their data. Current infrastructure and management practices are often not set up to handle today’s digital consumer, the volume of data generated, and the multitude of systems collecting the data, leaving users with inaccurate data and limited access. Consequently, they have been limited in their ability to leverage new data talent, technology, and best practices that can help them gain the necessary insight to innovate and stay competitive.

In the past several years managing data became more complicated because of the increasingly diverse group of stakeholders who want to leverage and have access to data. It isn’t enough now just to make sure the data is right, which most companies still have not cracked. Now you also must make sure that insight is provided with the right context, to the right business user who can make the most effective decisions for the organization.

These challenges will only become more acute as organizations not only continue to delay meaningful investment in data management, but also miss the emerging trend of democratization of data control in the organization.  When investing in technology, few stop to think about the overarching operational data strategy and how decentralized data manipulation has become. Organizations need the right ownership or strong data leadership that allows them to access data and take advantage of insight, while considering consumer privacy, data security and data governance.

Experian just released a new report looking at customer experience data trends, developing trust in information and changing data ownership. I encourage you to read this new report in the hopes that it will shed light into best practices around leveraging data.

Download the new 2019 Global Data Management report here.