Customer Data & Analytics Blog

Breaking Bad Data - The Key to Data Accuracy

David Slavich | 2 minute read

DS Breaking Bad Data Blog Header-01When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile picture? At least for myself, it’s been a while and considering the “quarantine 15” phenomenon I have no plans to change my picture anytime soon. Ironically, I relied on the accuracy of LinkedIn profile photos for finding prospects at conferences when I was an SDR and due to data decay, I often found myself at the panting end of an apology after running down the wrong prospect. 

If you think about it, data at its core, is a snapshot of the past. The older that snapshot gets the less it represents the present. The gap between your data and reality is known as data decay, and staying ahead of it can make the difference between spending your limited budget on advertising to Walter or Mr. White. While the analogy may seem absurd, remember that Walter’s character was based on the true story of a man from Alabama

Data decay has been well documented and not unlike the concept of half life in physics, data decays at an average rate of about 22% a year.  That decay can be very costly and according to Gartner, “the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year.” IBM also recently discovered that in the US alone, businesses lose $3.1 trillion annually due to poor data quality.

Compounding the issue of data decay is data storage. Think about the “per pound” pricing model that your marketing automation platform charges, let alone your CRM or data warehouse.  Backups and copies are a regulatory and operational necessity but at a dollar a contact, storing dirty data quickly becomes an expensive venture. 

Walter once said “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” and perhaps that is why traditional demand generation has led to diminishing returns. Prospects expect a high level of personalization but this goal is difficult to achieve due to the fact that only 46% of marketers have a unified view of their data according to a 2018 study published by Salesforce. With an incomplete picture of reality, many marketing programs fall back on spray and pray tactics email campaigns had less than 0.1% lead to deal conversion rate.

On the bright side at a 0.1% conversion rate, up is the only way to go and persistent data quality management is the key to that upward trend. For the key, next week we’ll talk about CDP. Until then mahalo.

Gulliver would weep if he saw David's mileage plus status, sixty-five countries, and counting. Before finding the divine light of Martech, David worked in China, India, and Hong Kong in the finance and infrastructure verticals. When he's not herding JSON objects, you can find this "cyberjack" chopping wood or building a deck to enjoy the view from his little bungalow by the sea in Pacifica, CA.

Topics: Data Quality