Quality Data’s a Problem for Data Management Strategies, but So Are Silos

October 1, 2021

Ascend2 Top Challenges Managing Unifying Data Oct2021Despite seeing the advantages to unifying data, many marketers are finding it complicated to implement a strategy to unify and manage data. In fact, 7 in 10 of the marketers surveyed for a report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners say that doing so is either extremely (17%) or somewhat (54%) complicated.

The survey found that marketers are trying to accomplish several objectives by implementing a data unification and management strategy, with the top goals being improving customer engagement (46%) and improving customer experience (43%). Others are looking to streamline marketing and sales efforts (29%), improve lead quality (25%), improve ROI (24%) and improve internal communication (24%).

When implementing a data unification and management strategy, some of the most essential elements are thought to be making unified data actionable (28%), storing and managing data (28%), finding an appropriate data management solution (27%) and standardizing data (27%). However, the largest percentage of respondents say that maintaining data quality (36%) is the most essential element for implementing such a strategy. Indeed, a study from earlier this year found that about 9 in 10 marketers are making data quality one of their data management priorities in the next 6 to 12 months.

Nevertheless, although these elements are essential, they are proving to be challenging. More than one-third (35%) cite maintaining data quality as one of the biggest challenges marketers are facing when implementing a strategy to unify and manage data. And while not appearing among the top elements for success, fully one-third (32%) also say that cross-departmental cooperation is a challenge.

By comparison, fewer respondents are finding proving ROI (16%) and receiving executive buy-in (13%) to be standing in the way of implementing a successful strategy.

Technology also stands as a challenge. Respondents cite finding an appropriate data management solution (27%) and storing and managing data (26%) as challenges. When it comes to selecting a solution, some of the most critical components considered include usability/ease of use (49%), integration with existing technology (44%), the overall cost to manage (43%) and data visualization and reporting (33%).

Consumers are less than optimistic about their online privacy, yet marketers are making an effort, with data security management (35%) and data privacy management (30%) considered some of the most critical components when considering a data management solution.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on an August 2021 survey of 297 B2B and B2C marketers, half of whom worked at companies with at least 50 employees.

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