Research

Report: Organizations Struggle With Data Quality Issues

Although educational institutions and other organizations are making greater use of data to support business outcomes, in many cases the quality of that data is not high enough to support goals such as improved customer experience, decision making and governance, according to a new report from Experian Data Quality, a provider of data quality software and services.

The 2016 global data management benchmark report examines global trends in data quality, including ways organizations are managing and using their data to better understand their customers, challenges they are facing with internal and external data quality, and ways data management practices are changing.

"Businesses are evolving to make more intelligent decisions based on data, but they haven't updated their data management processes to ensure they're using high-quality information," said Thomas Schutz, senior vice president and general manager for Experian Data Quality, in a news release. "Organizations still are struggling to find data issues and correct them across the business."

According to Schutz, many of these data issues are due to organizational challenges such as a lack of a central data owner or data staff. "For data to fully support the business' strategic needs, data management strategies need to catch up to data usage. Ultimately, that transformation starts with creating a culture around data," he said. However, he also considers the increasing number of diverse data types to be a contributing factor to the issues.

Key higher education-related findings from the survey:

  • 95 percent of higher education institutions have a data quality strategy, primarily to increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction and to enable more informed decisions;
  • The most common data errors for higher education institutions include incomplete or missing data and outdated information;
  • E-mail is the top communication channel for higher education institutions;
  • Over the next five years, social media, mobile applications and the Web site are expected to increase in usage;
  • 70 percent of higher education institutions have experienced e-mail deliverability challenges in the last 12 months;
  • 96 percent of higher education institutions are driven to turn data into insight; and
  • 90 percent of higher education institutions have data management projects planned in the next 12 months, the most popular being data integration and data cleansing.

The 2016 global data management benchmark report is based on a November 2015 poll of more than 1,400 people from eight countries and a wide variety of industries, including information technology, telecommunication, manufacturing, retail, business services, financial services, public sector, utilities and education. The study was produced by Loudhouse for Experian Data Quality.

The full report is available as a free, downloadable PDF from Experian Data Quality's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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