UK businesses losing money and customers due to inaccurate data

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Businesses are missing out on revenue opportunities and losing customers as a result of bad data practices according to new research from Dun & Bradstreet.

To compile its new The Past, Present and Future of Data report, the firm surveyed over 500 business decision makers in the US and UK.

The report shows that almost 20 percent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them with an additional 15 percent of respondents saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed (22%) said their financial forecasts have been inaccurate while 17 percent of organizations offered too much credit to a customer due to a lack of information about them and lost money as a result.

How data is structured

The way in which data is structured was also found to be a significant barrier in many organizations as the survey discovered indications that data is often poorly structured, difficult to access and out of date. Nearly half of the business leaders surveyed (46%) said that data is too siloed to make any sense of it with the biggest challenges to making use of data being protecting data privacy (34%), having accurate data (26%) and analyzing/processing that data (24%).

This lack of structure could be a direct result of the fact that 41 percent of those surveyed said that no one in their organization is responsible for the management of data. This lack of ownership could also be why 52 percent of respondents said they have not had the budget to implement data management practices within their organizations.

Dun & Bradstreet's report also shows that two thirds (65%) of business leaders said that data will be vital to the future success of their organization. However, less than a quarter of organizations (22%) have staff that are dedicated to data management and less than one fourth say that they have the necessary talent to implement data management properly.

Chief data scientist at Dun & Bradstreet, Anthony Scriffignano Ph.D offered further insight on the report's findings in a press release, saying: 

"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 organizations are yet to make the most of data – and some have even been fined or lost customers due to incomplete or 'dirty' data."

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.