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Experian Key Reasons for Data Quality Strategy Mar2020A full 85% of organizations consider data to be one of their most valuable assets, according to a survey of respondents with visibility into their organizations’ customer or prospect data management practices. However, a struggle to thoroughly leverage data is leaving this asset somewhat untapped for many companies, per a report [download page] from Experian.

More than one-quarter (28%) of current customer or prospect data is suspected to be inaccurate in some way, according to the study. With this in mind, the report details how businesses can benefit from having a strategy dedicated to maintaining high-quality trusted data.

Six in 10 of the 1,100 respondents – representing 6 global markets – believe that high-quality data increases efficiency in their business, with a sizable percentage believing that it not only increases customer trust (44%) and enhances customer satisfaction (43%) but also enables more informed decision making (42%) and cuts costs (41%).

One key finding is the extent to which data debt – which Experian defines as the “accumulated cost associated with the sub-optimal governance of data assets in an enterprise” – can lead to a lack of confidence in data initiatives despite significant investment and the best intentions. More than three-quarters (78%) of organizations consider data debt to be a problem in their business, with 40% saying that individuals within the business do not trust data insights.

Indeed, mistrust and misunderstanding of data initiatives can be both a cause and an effect of data debt. With 35% of respondents claiming that they are unable to see the ROI of data management, it’s not surprising that two-thirds (66%) say a backlog of data debt is an obstacle to investment in new initiatives. And while 64% plan to address the problem, another three-fifths (59%) claim it is difficult to know where to start tackling data debt.

To get to the root of this problem companies must recognize data literacy in their hiring process, enacting a positive cycle that will, in turn, encourage professionals to build data literacy into their skillset. Seven in 10 respondents say that a lack of data literacy is negatively impacting the value of the investment in data and technology. Seemingly in response, 8 in 10 see data literacy as a core competency necessary for all employees in the next five years.

However, while 84% of organizations are concerned with hiring skilled professionals to strengthen their data management, such as analysts, data engineers and data scientists, the same share (87%) see at least one of these roles as being challenging to hire for, a problem that continues to be the thorn in the side of businesses.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,100 professionals in the US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Australia.

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