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Incomplete data causes a fifth of firms to lose customers and revenue

One-in-five businesses lose revenue and customers as a result of incomplete data, according to research by Dun & Bradstreet.

In a survey, almost 20% of respondents said they’d lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information, while another 15% said using incomplete data had led to a failure to sign up a new contact.

Gaps in data had also affected business insight. Some 22% of financial forecasts were inaccurate, and 17% offer too much credit to customers resulting in a loss of revenue. The primary reason for this issue was cited as poorly structured data, with nearly half of respondents said data was too siloed to understand.

Anthony Scriffignano, chief data scientist at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Information has always been critical for businesses, but over the past decade the volume of data, the types of information available, and the ability to do new things with that data have expanded enormously. It’s not surprising that many business leaders feel they are still catching up and their organisations are yet to make the most of data – and some have been fined or lost customers due to incomplete or ‘dirty’ data."

Decision-makers reveal top data challenges

Respondents also said the top three challenges they faced were protecting data privacy (34%), having accurate data (26%) and analysing data (24%).

More than 500 UK and US business decision-makers were surveyed for the research. It revealed that 16% of US respondents were concerned with data compliance, while that number nearly doubled to 31% where UK respondents were concerned – this may be due to GDPR.

Monica Richter, chief data officer at Dun & Bradstreet, added: “Businesses must make data governance and stewardship a priority. Whether leaders are exploring AI or predictive analytics, clean, defined data is key to the success of any programme and essential for mitigating risk and growing the business.”

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