Transforming Marketing’s role in Data Quality Efforts


Today’s marketers see data not just as a source for a particular campaign or improved customer interactions across channels, but as a wealth of knowledge for senior leadership to use to inform strategic direction. But while data may now be viewed as an important strategic asset, unfortunately we have not seen data quality efforts keep up with data-driven marketing’s popularity.

Data quality enhancement was traditionally implemented as a siloed, one-off effort. Even today, data quality generally remains a secondary component of the marketing mix. According to new Experian Data Quality global research, only one-third of companies manage their data quality strategy centrally through a single leader. This means that the vast majority of companies lack a coherent, centralized approach to data quality.

That does not bode well for the quality of consumer information. In fact, we are seeing this reflected in rising data inaccuracy levels. Globally, surveyed companies today expect that, on average, 22 percent of their data is wrong, up from 17 percent just a year ago. In the U.S., organizations believe one-quarter of their data is inaccurate.

The general rise in data inaccuracy is due to the fact that there is more data from multiple digital and traditional sources. Couple increasing volume with the variety of ways information is entered, and there is simply more room for human error. Additionally, more individuals in an organization are looking to leverage data insights and are noticing fault with the base information, bringing data inaccuracies to the forefront. The prevalence of segmented, departmental approaches to data accuracy often prevents stakeholders from analyzing, improving and controlling data problems by dividing resources and further segmenting information.

As marketers look to improve cross-channel marketing efforts and increase tailored communications to individual consumers, data quality needs to be a priority. While data quality is certainly not the most glamorous topic, it is a requirement to accomplish today’s sophisticated marketing objectives. With the increasing desire for marketers and organizations to become data-driven, marketers will need to recognize data quality as an imperative and marshal resources from other departments to foster a centralized data quality strategy.


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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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