Quality Data: One of the Key Success Factors in Business for 2023

December 5, 2022
Quality Data: One of the Key Success Factors in Business for 2023

How to succeed in business in 2023

The past few years have been a roller coaster ride for most businesses: Covid lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, soaring inflation and increasing geo-political tensions. The on-going war in Ukraine is having ripple effects on the global financial situation. With less discretionary income, customers are becoming more demanding and price conscious. Competition is not just a matter of market share, but a question of survival. At the same time, technical skills are now at such a premium that many organisations are worried about attracting and retaining top talents.

All this is going on alongside the disruptions and opportunities being created by the digital revolution. Businesses are having to revisit their core strategies, and to tighten up their operations.

We recently ran a poll on LinkedIn on the most important success factors for businesses in 2023. Most of our respondents, 55%, stated that data quality is the most important success factor. This highlights that a data management strategy (collecting, cleaning, processing, and analysing) is the most crucial success factor. Use of advanced technologies was the second choice, coming in at 23%. Only 18% of respondents said that having data savvy leaders is crucial, which means some believe that leaders don’t need to be software engineers to drive success in digitalisation!

What makes a business successful?

Tech savvy leadership

Tech Leader Looking at Analytics Dashboard

Being tech savvy has become an essential characteristic of successful business leaders. Tech savvy leaders understand the software platforms, and devices relevant to their market, and stay up to date on industry best practices. Most importantly, they understand that innovation needs the right data.

Tech savvy leaders don’t necessarily need an IT or engineering background. But they need to understand the importance of IT processes and platforms in their organisation. A research study conducted by MIT revealed that companies that had tech savvy leaders and that invested more in IT produced better results than competitors. Companies where leaders were not “tech-aware”, and that invested less in IT, earned 32% less than competitors!

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies are still being developed, or have yet to fully mature in terms of benefits and applications. Examples include Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, speech and handwriting recognition, virtual reality, among many others.

Advanced technologies can help businesses to streamline processes, automate routine tasks and to make your businesses more efficient.

Quality data

Data quality is an assessment of the accuracy, completeness, consistency, and reliability of data. Measuring data quality levels can help organisations identify data errors that need to be resolved and assess whether the data in their IT systems is fit to serve its intended purpose.

Digital transformation is driven by data. Data that is flawed, incorrect or out-of-date distorts all the processes, actions, and decisions it touches. Consequently, bad data results in bad decisions. So, data quality is the cornerstone of any successful digital transformation, which is why many consider it as the most important factor in determining business success moving forward.

How quality data can help your business succeed

In 1992, George Labovitz and YuSang Chang proposed the “1-10-100 rule”, which identifies the hidden costs of poor data. The cost of correcting bad data grows the longer it is left in the system. According to this principle, a single dollar spent on data verification at the beginning, grows to $10 to update wrong data later, and translates to $100 cost to the business if it is not corrected.

One study showed that over two thirds of retailers consider address accuracy as crucial to customer satisfaction and completed transactions. Why? Most failed deliveries are caused by the customer inputting incorrect address information. A simple step such as implementing an address look-up or verification tool can eliminate these errors.

A 2016 IBM report valued the cost of poor data quality at $3.1 trillion per year. Poor data leads to bad decisions, and eventually to a mistrust of data itself. Bad data costs time and money. One report indicated that poor data incurs an average cost of nearly 10 million dollars per year. Another study revealed that a third of business analysts spend nearly 40% of their time validating data.

Data analytics has emerged as one of the most effective ways to reveal core business issues and to highlight the most efficient solutions. Setting in place the appropriate data quality measures, and taking the time to ensure data quality (data quality assurance) leads to multiple and accumulating benefits including, but not limited to:

1. Improved decision making

High quality data increases the confidence of business leaders and decision makers in using data to drive their decisions. The results include:

Man standing in the hall and windows - making business decisions cover
  • Faster decision-making process
  • Improved budgeting and planning
  • Adoption and implementation of data-focused culture
  • More agile organisations along with the ability to drive internal transformation

2. Targeting the right audiences at the right time

Good quality data allows companies to learn more about their customers, and their competitors. Market knowledge is the most powerful competitive advantage. Data analytics based on good data can help in:

  • Identifying critical market features (age, gender, geo-location, occupation, education, and so on)
  • Feeding into the creation of more efficient marketing campaigns
  • Helping in targeted product or service design and rollout
  • Identifying best channels, formats, and content for branding messages
  • Identifying customer pain points and improving customer satisfaction

3. Increasing revenue and controlling costs

Higher-quality, and more complete data can impact every stage of the business cycle covering design, procurement, production, marketing, sales and customer service. When data is marshalled appropriately, companies can increase revenues because they can fine-tune their products and offerings to suit specific market segments. They can also gain a deeper understanding of cost drivers, enabling them to control them more effectively.

Improving your Data Quality

As a business leader during the coming year, you will be facing numerous challenges in a more uncertain business environment. Your challenges include remaining agile and competitive, securing revenue and keeping costs under control, while getting the most value out of your resources and employees.

Levelling up your data strategy is a critical step that can help you meet these challenges. One of the most important tasks in developing a solid data management strategy is ensuring data quality since it is directly connected to your business’ health.

Data quality starts with data collection, data entry, and data cleaning. These tasks are very time-consuming. According to Anaconda, “Data preparation and cleansing takes valuable time away from real data science work and has a negative impact on overall job satisfaction”. Outsourcing key data tasks to a freelancer is the ideal solution to ensure the quality of your data as it is fed into your systems or platforms. Freelancers can also help in maintaining data quality by correcting and cleaning up existing data. Using specialised tech professionals laser focused on improving data quality, ensures your data hygiene and helps free up employee time to devote to other valuable tasks.

At Pangaea X, we allow you access to the best data experts in the world who can help you at every stage of your data management process, including data entry, data cleaning and processing as well as data analysis. Interested in learning more about how we can help you explore all the aspects of data quality? Get in touch with us!

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