More than half of retail organisations admit their contact data is incomplete or missing, according to research by Experian.

The survey, which was conducted by PureProfile, examined the views of more than 300 Australian executives from organisations with 200 or more employees. It showed that there was a concerning gap between organisations that recognise the importance of customer contact data but do not have the systems in place to ensure its accuracy.

Also, 25 per cent of those surveyed do not currently measure data accuracy within their organisation. Looking specifically at organisations with in the retail sector, this figure fell slightly to 20 per cent.

Matt Glasner, Experian QAS Australia director, said keeping data enables organisations to get close to their customers by understanding individual needs and help drive business decisions.

“The importance of data quality is widely accepted across most organisations. However, the challenge exists in balancing the increasing volumes of data captured by organisations with an effective data management strategy to ensure the information is accurate and relevant,” he said.

A major component to manage data accuracy is the allocation of ownership: assigning a specific department to take charge of data management across the entire organisation.

“If data is managed effectively within an organisation it offers an invaluable asset in its ability to help underpin a single customer view. This can be achieved by ensuring all datasets across an organisation support one another and remain accessible across all departments. This ensures information is constantly verified and updated for use across different departments,” Glasner said.

However, Experian QAS’s research shows that 33 per cent of retail respondents state that there is no single owner within their organisation responsible for contact data management. 

“Overall, the research suggests that organisations which do not have processes in place to enforce data accuracy are missing out on critical insights to help inform key business decisions. Not to mention losing out on potential revenue generating opportunities, such as cross selling and targeted promotional activities,” Glasner said.