There are many reasons we might want to spend some time reminiscing at the moment. Memories of lazy days lounging at a packed beach, chilly evenings in a pub garden huddled around the only working heater, perhaps just walking into a shop without having to pat down every pocket to find your face mask, but in this article, we’re looking back for a slightly different reason.
In January 2015, we made several data quality predictions in one of our blog articles and five years on we wanted to take a look back and see how they held up.
Data Technology Developments
Our first prediction was that changes and advancements in data technology would force businesses around the world to improve and broaden their data quality assessments, and with the proliferation of smart devices, artificial assistants and more, this has certainly come to pass.
Also, although not an advancement in technology per se, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018 had a huge impact.
While it was still 3 years away from being implemented, the negotiations between the relevant European bodies regarding the General Data Protection Regulation began in earnest in December 2015.
When it came into full effect in 2018, it forced many businesses to change their data management practices, and despite having two years to make these changes, many left it until the last minute to do so.
With so much more data now available, and stricter legal obligations in regards to the handling of data, these developments have meant that ensuring the quality of data has never been more important.
How Well Do We Know Our Customers Today?
In 2015, companies like Google and Amazon began to invest heavily in using customer data, not just to provide intelligent results, but to provide us with things that we need before we even search for it. When checking your phone today, you may often find a notification from Amazon suggesting items it thinks you’d be interested in, or one from Google suggesting a news story based on the data they have collected on your Google searches.
“For You” tabs in search engines and social media platforms are commonplace now, with news stories, shopping, television shows, films, music and much more now curated for users based on their specific search history and data.
Most households now have some form of smart speaker, whether it be an Amazon Echo or Google Nest, that come with a virtual assistant that, based on your previous grocery shop, can predict when you’re likely to run out of an item and inform you.
Knowing your customer comes in a variety of guises now too, with more than your shopping habits or musical tastes being analysed. The Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons screenings involved in Anti-money laundering checks have become granular in detail, scrutinising everything from political affiliations to financial activities in order to reduce risk.
The Internet of Things, Buzz Word or Reality?
What began 2015 as a bit of a buzz word, now has real world implications. The list of appliances that can now connect to the internet has grown exponentially since 2015, and recent research has shown that by 2025 there will be more than 75 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things.
With the advent of a wide variety of “smart” devices, from kettles to light fixtures and thermostats, the way diagnostic information and data is gathered has changed overnight, each insight building an extensive pool of data that is then used to diagnose faults or problems, and even predict them before they happen.
Game Changing Social Media
In our 2015 article, we wrote, “Data gathered from social campaigns and interactions feeds back into the single customer view, and provides a unique insight into content marketing trends. And social data slots into wider inbound marketing objectives, something that then influences optimisation, content marketing and more.
In the following year, we had the Cambridge Analytica scandal that bled into the Brexit debate, as well as the US election.
Our social media usage has evolved beyond its initial offering of being able to see what bands, restaurants, or films we like, it can now be used to glean information on our political and social leanings, financial status and much more.
For better or for worse, data gathered from social media platforms can now be used to influence world events, as was seen in 2016, and has well and truly evolved beyond likes, shares, and comments.
Facing the Challenge
So much has changed over the last 5 years, so what about the next 5? Given the pace of technological advances, it’s fair to predict that the scale, complexity and speed of data acquisition and flow will increase day by day. Whether it’s through your smart phone, smart tv or smart speaker data is being collected on a never-before-seen level and moving into 2021 and beyond, the goal must now be focussed on ensuring its quality. We will be discussing this in a future blog, but it is clear that data quality will be the cornerstone of all data initiatives, and poor data the single most common cause of failure.
With data coming from so many different avenues, sorting the right from wrong is vital, as this information drives things like insights, analytics, machine learning and AI modelling more and more every day. At DQ Global, we offer a comprehensive suite of tools that can work within your CRM system or database to guarantee that your customer data is duplicate free, accurate and up to date, and in turn, providing your business with accurate insights and analysis, allowing you to save time, reduce costs and mitigate risks.
You can learn more about our products, here.