The clock might be ticking on GDPR implementation, but nearly half of all companies have confessed they are still struggling to get in shape for existing laws, let alone the biggest shake up of data legislation in a generation coming in May next year.
The current UK Data Protection Act has been in force since 1998, so it is not as if brand owners can say they have not had much time to comply. If firms take as long to become GDPR compliant, it will not be until 2037 that the majority get it right.
The findings, from a new global business survey commissioned by Experian, reveal that nearly three-quarters of companies (72%) recognise data quality issues have affected trust and perception by their customers, who are increasingly aware of the value of their data and their vulnerability if it is not handled appropriately.
With more and more customer interactions now taking place online, there is a growing challenge for businesses. Four in five (81%) continue to report difficulties in achieving a single customer view, while 64% concede that inaccurate data is currently undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.
Under GDPR, holding accurate marketing data is no longer a “nice to have”, it is mandatory.
Experian’s Rebecca Hennessy said: “We now live in a world built on data and companies of all sizes are in possession of more information about their customers than ever before. Our survey demonstrates that businesses recognise the importance of data accuracy, and rightly so, it needs to be a primary focus to ensure they gain and maintain their customer’s trust. Companies have always been hamstrung by data quality issues, but with the imminent enforcement of new regulations it is now operationally critical for them to get their data management right.”
The Experian survey also found that businesses have been rewarded when they have been proactive. Seven in 10 (69%) said when they have made investments in data quality solutions they have seen a return on investment.
Senior data professionals are required to deliver the necessary cultural change. Seven in 10 (70%) companies agree that increasing regulation has driven the need for better data analytics and management, while 31% plan to hire a data protection officer in the next 12 months. Furthermore, 37% plan to recruit ‘data champions’ and ‘data steward’ roles in 2017.
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