Clients are failing to unlock the full value of their data, according to new fingings from data solutions provider Prospect Swetenhams.
The six month study, which looked at data from a cross section of clients, found that most prospect data supplied to its data bureau division was accurate, but that customer data was failing to be exploited largely due to a range of issues around the way it is collected, particularly around the online automation of this process.
Lindsey Sandom-Brown, head of client services, said, “These days data is captured from all manner of sources, from call centres to online, and the formats in which it is captured frequently vary in different parts of the same organisation. In addition, the data is rarely captured with future marketing in mind.
“This makes it far more difficult to unlock its true value, not least as automated processes to clean it and match it sometimes do more harm than good, often sacrificing relevance in return for greater accuracy.”
The top issues in addressing the effectiveness of customer data included formatting, duplication of records and the presence of ‘salacious’ words which customers often type into online data capture sites themselves.
Sandom-Brown adds, “Our clients are becoming more aware of the importance of customer data quality – and for many a great deal of effort has gone into addressing this. However, these efforts aren’t always focused in the right area, so we can be in danger of a ‘baby and bathwater’ situation, with some data being lost or discarded which might have given valuable clues about customer behaviour, and some being retained which adds little.
“Ironically, our study suggests that the worse a state data is in, the richer the exploration of that data can be. It’s only when you start to analyse it and play with formats and deal with duplications that you realise the true value.”
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