• Royal Mail Data Services has issued a new report identifying that many UK organisations are still struggling to make their customer engagement and data management strategies compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ahead of its enforcement in May 2018
  • The Use And Management Of Customer Data reveals that nearly one-third of organisations have no formal data-cleansing processes in place. The report also highlights confusion over how third-party data sources will comply with the GDPR’s strict permissioning guidelines

Royal Mail Data Services has published a new report revealing that nearly one-third (32.7 per cent) of UK organisations have no formal data-cleansing processes in place less than six months before the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. The Use And Management Of Customer Data – the company’s fourth annual survey of UK businesses’ data practices – also reveals that nearly three out of 10 organisations (29.4 per cent) are concerned about non-compliance with the GDPR, a 242 per cent increase year-on-year, and more than half are unsure whether third-party data sources will comply with the GDPR’s strict permissioning guidelines. With survey respondents estimating that the average cost of poor-quality customer data is 5.6 per cent of annual revenue, the approach of the GDPR enforcement application deadline has prompted many organisations to re-focus on the quality of the customer data they hold and the effectiveness of their existing data management processes. The report highlights that nearly one-quarter (24.2 per cent) of organisations believe better data quality and analysis will improve the performance of their marketing campaigns. However, more than one in five say poor-quality data (22.9 per cent) is holding them back, or that their organisational cultures don’t value the importance of maintaining good-quality data (20.6 per cent). Additionally, the report warns that in a business environment characterised by fierce competition, fragmented channels, and diverse customer expectations, the 55 per cent of organisations without comprehensive data-cleansing processes are operating on a foundation of poor-quality data. They will suffer as competitors use accurate, complete customer information to drive sales, retain customers, and enhance their brand positioning.

Jim Conning, Managing Director, Royal Mail Data Services, comments:

 “The problem of poor-quality customer data has blighted business for many years, and as the GDPR deadline approaches, those companies that lack effective data management processes will not only continue to suffer an unnecessary hit to the bottom line, but also potentially risk non-compliance with tightened data regulations.”

Conning continues

, “It still comes as a surprise that a large proportion of organisations today have no formal processes or solutions in place to either cleanse or enhance customer data on a continuous basis. Yet data quality is of paramount importance to support customer acquisition and retention activities. Rather than regard the enforcement of the GDPR as an unwanted regulatory headache, companies should view it as a spur to action to improve and enhance data quality in order to provide a truly customer-focused marketing experience.” Royal Mail Data Services helps organisations meet the compliance and data-quality challenges of collecting, managing and using accurate, permissioned customer contact and address data to improve customer engagement.