While the number of organizations undertaking data initiatives is growing, sufficient data quality remains elusive for most, and that is affecting the ability of organizations to meet project goals or customer needs.

That is one of the key findings of a new study by Experian Data Quality, a leading provider of data quality software and services. In its new research study, The 2016 Global Data Management Benchmark Report, Experian finds that while most organizations believe data usage is evolving to support significant business outcomes—such as customer experience, decision making and governance—the data still is not at the quality level required to achieve these goals.

Data quality remains one of the largest issues in healthcare, particularly in advancing the use of data analytics to conduct research on healthcare protocols, treatment approaches or disease states.

In the Experian survey, 23 percent of responding organizations say their data is inaccurate, and they are seeing a high number of consequences from bad data. Further, 75 percent of organizations believe that inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.

The study indicates that the level of inaccurate data mainly stems from internal challenges. Chief among them: "organizations lack the knowledge, skills and human resources around data to manage and govern it properly."

"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.

"Organizations still are struggling to find data issues and correct them," Schutz said. "While some of this is certainly due to a higher volume of more diverse data types, many of these organizational struggles are internal. For example, a business may lack 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."

The study also found that:

  • 84 percent state that data is an integral part of forming a business strategy.
  • 75 percent of businesses believe their organization is more likely to quantify and measure data department by department, rather than across the organization as a whole.
  • 75 percent find it difficult to predict when and where the next data challenge will arise.

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