How to unlock your most valuable business asset

02 Sep 2019 12665 views 0 minutes to read Contributors


According to Experian’s 2019 global data management research, organizations believe that, on average, 29% of their data is inaccurate. That’s a big problem. Because poor quality data hampers practically every area of business, from customer service and marketing to finance and health and safety.

Does your customer experience meet the demands of digitally-savvy consumers?

For many organizations, improving customer experience is a top priority. They’ll invest in effective web design, train their call center teams to be friendly and responsive, and ask for feedback in customer satisfaction surveys. But, unless the data you collect is accurate, integrated and readily available, your efforts to improve customer experience will be wasted.

For your customers, data is emotional

Let’s take the insurance industry as an example. When a customer calls your contact center because they’ve crashed their car or their roof is leaking, they’re probably already feeling stressed and upset. Having to deal with customer service agents who don’t have accurate data, such as phone numbers and bank account details, adds to their frustration and damages your brand.

Now imagine how much better that customer feels if, when they call you, the agent instantly has access to all the customer data they need to solve the problem and answer any questions. Your customer doesn’t need to repeat themselves multiple times as different departments try to access the right files or double check their details. With high quality customer data at their fingertips, the customer service team can also improve after-sales service and might even have the insight needed to recommend a new or complimentary product that helps the customer and gets you an extra sale.

Does your marketing team have the data they need?

Companies now gather vast amounts of data in an attempt to boost sales and loyalty by meeting customers’ expectations for personalized marketing. If you’ve got the data on your customers’ demographics, shopping habits, pain points and preferences, you can design your marketing campaigns to speak directly to them. Yet, many marketing departments either don’t have this data or are struggling to leverage it effectively.

Are your decisions informed by accurate business intelligence?

Key, strategic business decisions are made using the business intelligence available to your management teams. Staffing levels, pricing decisions, new product launches; these decisions are all data driven. If your executive team can’t trust that data to be accurate, they don’t have the confidence and necessary insight to innovate and stay competitive.

Data quality is everyone’s business

What can businesses do to improve their data quality? The first change that’s often needed is cultural. Everyone in the organization needs to take responsibility for ensuring data quality.

This is not simply the responsibility of the IT department or your Database Administrator (DBA). There is an on-going need for everyone, from the boardroom to the finance and customer service teams, to take ownership and responsibility for ensuring customer data, financial data and private data is accurate and reliable.

Training people to use the tools effectively will help to reduce data inputting typos. You can build quality controls, such as checking phone numbers and credit card numbers are the right length, into your processes. These measures all help, but attitude comes first. Everyone needs to be aware of the importance of data accuracy and not make the all too common mistake of simply trusting the data they get from colleagues without checking it is accurate.

Reduce risks and take control with a data quality audit

The volume of data generated, and the multitude of systems collecting the data, means that managing and leveraging data has become more complicated. In fact, Forbes estimates that, worldwide, only about 0.5% of the data we have collected is being used to make business decisions. Bringing all your data sources together in the form of a data quality and governance audit is the only effective way to see what is really happening in your organization.

Connecting everything together as one complete database environment will give you a comprehensive picture of the relationships between different data sources. And, it will highlight what needs to be done to improve those connections. There are also tools, such as Power BI and SQL Reporting tools, that can help you visualize and analyze large volumes of data efficiently and bring different data sources together in bespoke reports to aid business decision making.

Maintaining data quality is a challenge. But, consistent, reliable data is essential to build customer trust and enable knowledge-based decisions. Currently, too many businesses are drowning in more and more data yet they’re starved of meaningful insight.

Isn’t it time your business took control of this huge, untapped resource? Contact us for advice on how we can help.

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