An average £1 in every £6 (16.6 per cent) of departmental budgets is wasted by UK companies because of poor data quality, according to research commissioned by contact management data supplier Experian QAS.
The figure is higher for IT and data management departments, at 18 per cent.
Dynamic Markets, which conducted the research, collected responses on organisational attitudes to data quality from 903 companies in the UK, US and France. One third of those companies that participated in the study were UK based, and varied greatly in size and structure.
According to the research, 90 per cent of companies admit that inaccurate data – such as duplicate accounts, lost contacts and missed sales opportunities – contributes to budget waste.
Human error is still the largest factor affecting data quality, according to Experian QAS, which found that 57 per cent of companies cite this as the main reason for inaccurate data.
Nearly half of UK businesses surveyed are embracing technology solutions – dedicated point-of-capture or back-office software to clean contact data after it has been entered – to help combat human error.
Experian QAS said UK companies have started focusing on improving data quality: three quarters of the survey's UK respondents have invested in upgrading data management systems in the past two years, and 90 per cent of those have seen an associated increase in profit.
"Companies that are able to rely on their data can use it to better understand their customers and target campaigns," said Joel Curry, Experian QAS managing director. "UK businesses are increasingly aware of this, but as the research shows this awareness needs to be translated into action and investment."