“Only four types of organisations need to worry about data quality: Those that care about their customers; Those that care about profit and loss; Those that care about their employees; and Those that care about their futures. ” Thomas C. Redman (2006)
The pace of change in the digital world is such that it can often distract from the careful governance of data, leading to gaps, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. But why does this matter so much? Put it this way, bad quality data can seriously damage your business and credibility.
1, What have you missed? Missing out on valuable sales opportunities can arise from fields that are incorrectly filled out, the most common being inaccurate email addresses and customer names with spelling mistakes. Accurate and consistent data is all about ensuring that the data entered is entered correctly, without misspellings, typos and/or random abbreviations. Having good data will help deliver better customer service and it means that you can make better selections for targeted prospecting, cross-selling and up-selling.
2, The impact when things go wrong..sometimes bad data can lead to actions which can affect customer confidence. Most companies will have spent time adding to and building up valuable customer lists so it’s important not to waste this by, for example, sending campaigns to the wrong people. Or, even worse, sending information and messages to out of date or even deceased contacts. As well as this possibly affecting your customers’ confidence in your business, data quality issues can also cost you money, for example invoices sent to the wrong recipient or at the wrong time.
3, Data quality issues cannot be solved all at once..it is far better to take one part of the data, let’s say e-mail addresses, correct them first and move on to another part. Remember too that updating data is not a project with a start and end date, it is a continual but extremely important task which pays dividends in so many areas.
The above may seem obvious and easy to ensure. Let’s face it, there are enough technologies and techniques available in the market that can help. However, the problem is not so much the technology but much more a human problem and that makes it a lot more difficult to solve. Therefore, all employees involved with data at any point in time should understand the importance of high quality data.