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Media release: Nearly Half of Australian Organisations Operate Without a Data Quality Strategy

  • 03 July, 2008 11:37

<p>So, where does Australian business stand to comply with data regulations?</p>
<p>Sydney, Australia – 3 July 2008 – Experian QAS, the global leading contact data management specialist, has revealed that 54 per cent of organisations around the world are still neglecting one of their most profitable assets: data. This is mirrored for Australian organisations, with 45 per cent of businesses unable to confirm that a documented strategy exists to keep their contact data accurate and up-to-date.</p>
<p>Despite regulatory compliance in place to protect and maintain the customer’s accurately stored information, Australian businesses are ignorant to compliance issues surrounding database management. Furthermore, 32 per cent of Australian businesses are not sure about the degree to which their organisation is compliant.</p>
<p>The report Contact data: the profit maker or neglected asset?, commissioned by Experian’s specialist data integrity business, QAS, surveyed 2,078 respondents with a data-related role within companies on a global scale. It highlights that over the last two years there has been a major upward shift in the number of organisations adopting a strategic approach to data. Today, 46 per cent of businesses surveyed have a data quality strategy compared to just 27 per cent in 2005.</p>
<p>“In just two years we’ve seen an encouraging shift in the recognition and importance of data strategy,” said Matt Glasner, General Manager, Experian QAS in Australia and New Zealand. “But it still appears that many companies are yet to acknowledge the importance of accurate contact data. Organisations with a documented data strategy are on the rise, but these strategies often don’t cover all departments.</p>
<p>“A big concern is that data compliance appears to be going backwards. Total compliance with database-related regulations has tumbled in the past two years. This is of particular concern as data integrity comes under closer scrutiny from industry regulators in an increasing number of sectors.”</p>
<p>The report identified that 27 per cent of organisations around the world claim to be fully compliant with database-related regulations. This has gone backwards since 2005, when 37 percent believed they were operating within regulations.</p>
<p>Organisations in Australia claim a high degree of database-related compliance at 82 per cent, although a staggering proportion of businesses are not even aware of the regulations that they need to adhere to when saving and managing contact data information. Uncertainty is commonplace with 32% of Australian businesses not sure about the degree to which their organisation is compliant. They are unaware about the level of compliance that their business needs to manage their databases.</p>
<p>Validation issues</p>
<p>For the first time, the research also looked at what data is validated upon collection. When it comes to data validation, Australian organisations seem to be struggling. The majority of Australian businesses capture customer information, but nearly half of these do not validate the information to which they collect. A staggering 40 per cent of Australian businesses that capture contact data do not validate any of the information they collect.</p>
<p>Industry standards</p>
<p>It is no secret that regulatory compliance for data varies across industries in Australia, so does the standards of data management. On average, organisations in retail (85%), financial services (89%), education (84%) and the charities &amp; membership sector (87%) are more compliant with database-related regulations, compared to manufacturing (76%).</p>
<p>Data collected is vital to the success of a business but also has legal and regulatory requirements to protect a company from investigations or consequences. These requirements also help safeguard consumer and patient information. From a resource perspective, the research findings state that larger organisations in each industry are better equipped with compliance departments, to assist with regulation requirements.</p>
<p>Matt Glasner added: “At present, too many organisations are ignoring data quality, putting their reputation and public confidence at risk. Companies must directly relate it to their business goals for contact data quality management to get the recognition it deserves. Data is a strategic asset for many organisations, driving smarter decisions, improved operational efficiencies and better customer service.”</p>
<p>A full copy of the report can be found at:</p>
<p>Notes to Editor: QAS commissioned Dynamic Markets to undertake a quantitative research study to investigate the attitudes towards the integrity of data held within organisations around the globe. 2,078 respondents in organisations across six countries (UK, The Netherlands, France, North America, Australia and Singapore) were questioned operating both in the B2B and B2C markets. The respondents included CEOs and managing directors, plus executives from IT, marketing, sales, human resources, finance, administration, and operations/production/logistics functions. The sectors represented by the sample include transport and travel; retail; financial services; utilities and telecoms; education; manufacturing; including construction, agriculture and mining; charities and membership; and other public sector and not-for-profit organisations. The comparative research from 2005 was also conducted by Dynamic Markets and followed a similar methodology. This research can be found at:</p>
<p>About Experian</p>
<p>Experian® is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organisations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.</p>
<p>Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.</p>
<p>For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.</p>
<p>Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK. Experian employs approximately 15,500 people in 38 countries worldwide, supporting clients in over 65 countries around the world. Continuing sales for the year ended 31 March 2008 were $4,059m (£2,020m / €2,858m)</p>
<p>For more information, visit the Group’s website on</p>
<p>The word ‘Experian’ is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd. and/or its associated companies.</p>
<p>About Experian QAS</p>
<p>Experian QAS provides contact data management (CDM) software and services that help organisations drive value from their data. Every organisation stores contact information on its customers/citizens, prospects, suppliers and employees. Over 10,000 organisations worldwide choose Experian QAS products and services to manage the quality and accuracy of this data to improve business processing, financial performance, efficiency and the customer experience. The CDM capabilities include data auditing and standardisation, validation and cleaning, matching, suppression and enhancement. Specialist Authentication solutions are also offered to meet the growing demand for electronic identity verification in the wake of rising ID-related crimes.</p>
<p>Award winning Experian QAS solutions are a result of year-on-year investment in technology development since 1991, to ensure each solution delivers the highest level of functionality and service support.</p>
<p>QAS Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Experian, the global information services company. Visit Experian QAS on the web at</p>
<p>Press Contacts:</p>
<p>Angela Coombes</p>
<p>Max Australia</p>
<p>+61 2 9954 3492</p>

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