When no one is minding the data collection, what do you end up with?

Lost customers, missed business opportunities and a lack of competitiveness, says Dun & Bradstreet.

The company recently published a survey of “business decision makers” and found one in five businesses lose revenue and customers due to bad data practices.

Bad data, the survey says, can cost businesses through inaccurate or incomplete customer information, inaccurate sales and revenue information, and inaccurate business projections.

One example the survey shared was that 17 percent of the 510 businesses surveyed offered too much credit to a customer whose account had insufficient or inaccurate information – and lost money as a result.

Bad data happens when no one at the C-level has overall responsibility for recordkeeping and data collection, the survey found.  Access to information about business customers has expanded exponentially, but some businesses struggle to keep records up to date, Dun & Bradstreet said.

“(D)ata is often poorly structured, difficult to access and out of date,” a news release said. “Nearly half of business leaders (46 percent) say that data is too siloed to make any sense of it.”

Complicating matters is the rise of regulations on data privacy, the survey said.

Why does this matter?

Going forward, businesses seeking to use artificial intelligence, machine learning or predictive analytics will have a hard time finding success with bad data, according to the news release.