Dirty Data strikes again! How businesses fight back (Infographic)

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Few names send shivers down the spine of the modern manager quite like Dirty Data. What most businesses fail to recognize is that Dirty Data has been turning companies’ own assets against them to fuel his sinister schemes.

Data can be a dirty word if your online databases contain errors, spelling and punctuation mistakes, incomplete data, outdated or duplicated data. Without complete, accurate online data, your decision makers can’t make the right choices, your efficiency suffers and potential opportunities are lost. You may be incurring unnecessary costs and taking risks and not even know it. Running your business on questionable Dirty Data is like running a car on dirty oil.

The problem with Dirty Data

Dirty Data is insidious and when the errors aren’t abundantly clear, you may not even be aware of the subtle ways in which it is holding your company back. Statistics show that as much as 25% of companies suffer damage to their reputations as a result of Dirty Data. Inaccurate data also reduces productivity by 20% and is the main culprit in 40% of business failures.

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With corporate online data growing at a rate of 40% a year, errors and inconsistencies continue to create problems and cost money. And the consequences couldn’t be higher. What’s at risk is 74% of customer’s personal data like names and social security numbers, as well as 43% of product data like supplier’s information, part numbers and product descriptions. Add to this 36% of financial data and 27% of sales CRM data and you can understand why a leak can cause a company such irreparable damage.

Most businesses (52% in fact) say that one of the biggest obstacles to information management is training. But this trend is beginning to change as companies recognize the need for information stewardship. By 2015, half of all the major corporations will have a chief data officer.

The solution? Web-based systems

One of the biggest obstacles to accurate online data is that, in most companies, data is spread over a number of applications, databases and servers. This makes it extremely difficult to find errors and notice inaccuracies. It also means that your employees are working with different sources and this may compromise the consistency and underlying values that your company portrays.

Astute companies are taking the necessary steps to stop Dirty Data and improve their efficiency and accuracy. Secure Web-based systems prevent inaccuracies by consolidating data in one online database. This makes it possible to spot duplicated or erroneous data more easily. When all your employees are working from a centralized online database on the cloud, you can be sure that they are all using the same online data.

When you move your data onto the cloud, you can put in place security protocols which limit access to sensitive online data and you can train employees to accurately and safely enter, access and share your data online.

Steps to eliminating Dirty Data

  • Move your data to the cloud; an online database can consolidate your resources and make it easy to recognize problems and inaccuracies.
  • Your online data needs to be secure, so work with your cloud provider and IT department to set in place security protocols that will prevent your online data from hackers.
  • Create a team of trained professionals who are responsible for online data security and accuracy. When you have checks and procedures in place, fewer inaccuracies will mean improved efficiency and reduced costs.
  • Training is key, so ensure that all your employees are up to date on your online data protocols and procedures. When they know what they are doing, when there are checks and balances and when there is accountability, fewer errors will occur. Spending a little money on online data management will save you a lot of money in the future.
  • Invest in a user-friendly Web-based system where you can consolidate your online data. Your systems should have built-in analytics and should show the origins and history of your online data.

Your online data is one of your most valuable assets and Dirty Data can seriously undermine your business. Investing in a secure Web-based system and consolidating your data online will help you to avoid inaccuracies. Training also plays a vital role. Investing in training and personnel is the best way to ensure that you have an online database that improves efficiency and saves you money.