Your company likely has a CEO, COO, and CFO. It might even have a CRO and a CISO, but does it have a CDQO (Chief Data Quality Officer)? Just as executive, operational, financial, risk management, information security, and other vital functions must be appropriately managed, the same is true of data quality. Improving data quality can increase profits, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and much more, yet few companies think to appoint a CDQO.
Taking ownership of data quality
Who should be responsible for data quality in your organization? That’s a tough question. Some might think IT should be in charge of data quality. After all, IT sets up the database and configures the systems used to access your company’s data. Others may suggest that the marketing department should take ownership of data quality. After all, marketing is in charge of mailing lists and lead management. Maybe it’s an administrative function or a project for customer service to tackle. While virtually every department uses and is affected by data, there’s a tendency to think of data quality as someone else’s job. Thus, no one is specifically in charge of it.
Why data quality matters
Not taking data quality seriously could prove to be a costly mistake. Data quality affects everything from employee productivity and customer satisfaction to your bottom line. For example, each time a mailer or shipper is returned as undeliverable as addressed, an employee must stop what he or she is doing and investigate. This may involve calling the customer back to get the correct address — and apologize for the shipping delay. If the returned item is “just a promotional mailer,” an employee might toss it in the trash rather than attempt to correct the address. Both scenarios cost the company money. In the second scenario, the company will lose money with each subsequent mailing unless someone steps up and validates that address.
Data quality isn’t just about cleaning up addresses and phone numbers. For example, if fraudulent orders are a problem for your company, the ability to verify data in real time improves data quality and alerts you to potential fraud. Data validation tools can correct misspelled addresses and typos as well as identify suspicious mismatches between a customer’s IP address, credit card, and other contact details.
Not only does data quality impact employee productivity, customer service, and your bottom line, it can also affect decision making. Your executive team relies on data to make decisions. However, if that data is not accurate, genuine, or current, those decisions can’t possibly be the best decisions for your company.
Data quality impacts the entire organization, for better or for worse. Yet few CDQOs exist. It is essential to manage data quality at the executive level and then empower the entire team to take ownership of the quality of the data that they generate and/or encounter.
How to prioritize data quality in your organization
Start by putting one of your C-level executives in charge of data quality. From there, schedule a demo with Service Objects. We can help you improve data quality with our easy-to-use contact validation APIs.