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DQ Blog Data Quality Research Finds Obsolete or Dirty Data is Widespread

Research Finds Obsolete or Dirty Data is Widespread

Martin Doyle May 4th, 2011 Data Quality, Master Data Management

Close to 85% of the businesses say their data for customers and prospects is obsolete, out-of-date or just plain wrong, according to a recent DemandGen Report conducted with ZoomInfo, a business information provider.

The report, “Assessing the Impact of Dirty Data on Sales & Marketing Performance,” also found up to 40% of data businesses use to generate new business is inaccurate.

The findings suggest that data integration / migration projects should also have a data quality component, according to DemandGen.

“Our research revealed that companies are wasting massive amounts of time, which leads to missing out on millions in potential revenue, by using invalid prospecting data,” said Andrew Gaffney, editor of DemandGen Report, in a statement. “Data quality should be an area of intense focus because the impact of accurate, high-quality data can be exponential.”

It’s Not Just “Dirty Data” – It’s Lack of Clean Up Plan

Worse than how pervasive dirty data can be, the survey also found most businesses don’t have a strategy to fix the problem. When business or IT comes across obsolete or inaccurate or incomplete records in their databases, there is no strategic plan – companies simply ask sales teams to update this data, the DemandGen report found. In fact, having sales staff “clean up” dirty data is the survey’s most popular option.

Dirty or inaccurate data can effect pipelines, customer satisfaction and revenues. The report concludes:

  • Incorrect data has negatively affect 80% of companies’ lead generation efforts
  • More than 56% of businesses said 18 to 36 months were an “acceptable lifespan” for an active lead, even though changes may render that record out of date or unusable. Many organisations rely on marketing/prospect data that is 20%-40% inaccurate
  • 30% of companies currently have no strategy to update inaccurate or incomplete data
  • 8 out of 10 companies indicated that dirty data is hindering their lead generation campaigns.

“This study is a very important benchmark of the severity of the problem: outdated business information is stalling our entire economy,” Sam Zales, president of ZoomInfo said in the statement. “The research showcases that accurate B2B data can significantly drive the speed of business.”


If you’re concerned about the quality of your Customer Data, book a DQ Diagnostic with us today


Written by Martin Doyle

Martin is CEO and founder of DQ Global, a Data Quality Software company based in the UK. With an engineering background, Martin previously ran a CRM Software business. He has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years and has established himself as a Data Quality Improvement Evangelist and an industry expert.