Firms declare war on poor data but the battle rages on

data more2Marketers may have finally recognised the importance of data quality – which has risen up the agenda from a “nice to have” to being a legal as well as ethical requirement – yet only two-thirds actually believe their data quality practices are good enough.

So says a new report from the DMA and data specialist Validity, ‘Email Data Quality: Compliant, Correct and Complete’, which reveals the importance most marketers place in data quality and its three core tenets of compliance, correctness, and completeness.

The report reveals that the majority of organisations monitor data quality (77%) and agree that it is a very important part of their email marketing programme (62%) – or at least moderately important (33%), with just 6% saying it is unimportant.

However, just two-thirds of marketers (67%) rate their organisation’s level of data quality as at least good, compared to industry best practice.

In addition, the use of KPIs to measure the quality of data are common (61%), but they are not yet universal. The most popular metrics show a tendency towards choosing ‘good news’ measures – engagement rates (40%) and sales/revenue (37%) being the two most common. The cost of not getting data quality right is significant too, with the average cost per acquisition for each new customer estimated to be between £26 and £33.

The report highlights most organisations with a more advanced and developed data quality strategy use of a customer data Platform (CDP) to store their data (33%). For instance, these businesses are more likely to have a preference centre in place (25%) and use it to collect additional information on their customers (31%) – directly connecting to the pillar of completeness and ensuring brands have all the information they need.

DMA head of insight Tim Bond said: “Data is, naturally, a vital part of our industry. Without it, marketers would not be able to understand customers, reach out and engage them. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that marketers have at their disposal data that is compliant, correct, and complete.

“It is reassuring to see that most organisations monitor their data quality and agree it’s important, but there are also some clear opportunities for many businesses to do more to ensure their data strategy seeks to enhance their overall data quality.”

Validity International vice-president of customer engagement Guy Hanson added: “All-too-often, data quality represents a classic case of not knowing what you don’t know, which is why the findings in this report are so important.

“The results surface what’s important when it comes to the ‘3Cs’ of data quality: compliance, correctness, and completeness. Providing a benchmark of where you and your organisation are on your data quality journey, as well as flagging up opportunities for improvement.”

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