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UK BUSINESSES LOSING £197 MILLION THROUGH POOR QUALITY CONTACT DATA

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Experian Data Quality Reveals Disconnect Between Corporate Data Quality Aspirations and Everyday Reality

Experian Data Quality, formerly known as Experian QAS, today revealed that 75% of UK organisations are losing potential revenue as a result of poor quality contact data which is wasting both time and resources totaling nearly £200 million* collectively.

Each year, Experian Data Quality commissions the Global Research report, an independent assessment of how organisations across the UK, US and Europe manage the quality of their data assets, the challenges they face in keeping them accurate and complete, as well as how data quality issues impact their business. This year’s research, which surveyed 1,200+ organisations, reveals that while 99% of respondents have a strategy in place designed to maintain data quality, less than a third put a single director in charge of data quality for the whole organisation.

With 94% of respondents stating that they have poor quality data within their databases it is no surprise to find that a quarter of companies still rely entirely on manual processes, such as visually checking spreadsheets, to manage contact data held on customers.

Data Quality is the barrier to broader business initiatives

The results show that there has been an increase in the channels that companies are using to communicate with their customers this year, with the average of 3.4 channels being utilised.  This increase in channel adoption escalates the potential for incorrect or duplicate data entering a company, which is an obstacle to UK organisations attempting to drive a cross-channel customer experience.  Our research supports this reporting that lack of data quality is causing a barrier to those companies aspiring to cross channel marketing. 83% are experiencing issues in this area and 42% of respondents state that inaccurate data is the cause.

Organisations are also focused on making better management decisions through Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics tooling. This is yet another initiative that data quality can significantly hinder. 81% of respondents have encountered problems generating meaningful BI/Analytics with 40% blaming data inaccuracies. The loss of the potential insight that BI/Analytics can deliver from good data on customers is a key business differentiator in the current recovering, and highly competitive environment.

Data Quality processes – Data doing the dirty

Companies are estimating, on average, a five per cent increase in the inaccuracy of contact data (up to 22% from 17% in 2013). Look closer and we see that 54% of those respondents are using manual entry sources, such as call centres, to collect contact information. Interestingly, call centres are not only one of the most popular ways to collect information on a customer (54%) but is also described by 52% as the ‘dirtiest’.

These findings seem apt when 59% of respondents claim human error as the biggest contributor to poor quality contact data. It follows then that human error through manual collection channels is directly affecting the data quality of businesses. With wasted revenue higher among those who only use manual processes verses those that use only automated checks. This shows the importance of understanding channels of data collection as part of an effective data strategy.

Enrichment playing a key role

Contact data tops the list of data businesses deem essential to marketing success (54%), followed by transactional data at 44%. But these sources are only providing a foundation, with an impressive 94% seeing value gained by enriching this data with additional insight gained from third party sources.

Joel Curry, Managing Director at Experian Data Quality concludes, “The need for measured data quality controls is not diminishing, and, if anything it is becoming increasingly imperative. More and more channels are becoming available for organisations to communicate with their customers and being able to link these interactions together sits at the heart of delivering a quality customer experience.  Defining a data quality strategy is not a tick box exercise; improvement initiatives need processes and technology, that are enabled across the organisation, to ensure revenue streams and customer satisfactions are not adversely affected.”

Other Key Findings From the 2014 Global Research:

Strategy isn’t enough

  • 99% of organisations now have a strategy in place to manage data quality, up from fewer than half just a few years ago.  Yet only 30% of those with a data quality strategy manage it centrally through a single director.
  • 54% named contact data as among the top three types of data driving marketing success, with more than 90% enriching it with other information such as geolocation data (48%), demographics (47%) and enhanced address data (42%). Almost 70% of organisations add two or more categories and 47% add three or more.
  • Only 38% use specialised software to check data at the point of capture, while 34% use software to clean it after it has been collected. Automation is slightly higher among organisations that manage their data quality centrally, with 45% of these using point of capture software.

Bad data is costing business

  • The average organisation loses 12% of its income because of anomalies in contact data, through wasted marketing spend and resources as well as lost productivity.
  • 28% of those who have had problems with email ‘bounce back’ because of bad data say that customer service has suffered as a result.

Getting the data right – too much is incorrect

  • More than 90% of organisations report at least one type of common error in their contact data, from missing information and inaccuracies, to outdated and duplicate data.
  • This error level has not improved since 2013. In fact the scale of mistakes may be growing, as respondents estimate that, on average, 22% of all their contact data is inaccurate in some way, up from 17% last year.
  • Nearly 60% of respondents named human error as a reason for their lack of accurate contact data. 

 UK BUSINESSES LOSING £197 MILLION THROUGH POOR QUALITY CONTACT DATA 3

For a copy of Experian Data Quality’s 2014 Global Data Quality Research Report please visit:

http://cdn.qas.com/media/marketing/downloads/pdf/whitepapers/uk/v6_WP_Landscape-12pp-Ext-Jan13.pdf

* Respondents were asked what percentage of their revenue / funding did they think inaccurate and incomplete customer or prospect data costs their organisation in terms of wasted resources, lost productivity or wasted marketing and communications spend?

  • 75% of the UK sample cited a figure or said ‘some’ revenue / funding was wasted
  • The total number of UK businesses with 250 or more employees = 8,885 companies (see below)
  • Thus 75% of these = 6,664 companies
  • Average t/o of these large companies is £212 million, therefore total t/o for these companies can be estimated at £1,412,768 million
  • These businesses said an average of 14% was wasted which equates to 14% of £1,412,715 million = £197,788 million.

Supporting Statistics – Source: The Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills).

Business population estimates for the UK: Table 2, UK whole economy:

Number of businesses Turnover

£ millions

Average t/o

£ millions

250 or more 8,885 1,886,912 212

Note: These total turnover figures exclude SIC 2007 Section K (financial and insurance activities) where turnover is not available on a comparable basis.

Research methodology

This survey was carried out for Experian Data Quality by research firm Dynamic Markets. They interviewed representatives of 1,206 organisations in the UK, US, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. The sample ranges from small firms to organisations over 5,000 employees and includes industries such as manufacturing, automotive, transport, financial services, retail, utilities and the public sector.

Each organisation has at least one customer, citizen or prospect database that is managed and maintained internally. The average number of databases per organisation is 8. Respondents come from functions including marketing, CRM, data management, customer services, IT, sales, HR, finance and operations. All confirmed that they understood how their organisation handles its customer and prospect databases.

About Experian Data Quality

Experian Data Quality is renowned for assisting customers with their unique data quality challenges. Providing a comprehensive toolkit for data quality projects combining market leading software with a vast scope of reference data assets and services EDQ’s mission is to put customers in a position to make the right decisions from accurate and reliable data.

Established in 1990 with offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, Experian Data Quality has more than 13,500 clients worldwide in retail, finance, education, insurance, government, healthcare and other sectors.

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com

 

Business

Euro zone business activity shrank in January as lockdowns hit services

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Euro zone business activity shrank in January as lockdowns hit services 4

By Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) – Economic activity in the euro zone shrank markedly in January as lockdown restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic hit the bloc’s dominant service industry hard, a survey showed.

With hospitality and entertainment venues forced to remain closed across much of the continent the survey highlighted a sharp contraction in the services industry but also showed manufacturing remained strong as factories largely remained open.

IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI, seen as a good guide to economic health, fell further below the 50 mark separating growth from contraction to 47.5 in January from December’s 49.1. A Reuters poll had predicted a fall to 47.6.

“A double-dip recession for the euro zone economy is looking increasingly inevitable as tighter COVID-19 restrictions took a further toll on businesses in January,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

“Some encouragement comes from the downturn being less severe than in the spring of last year, reflecting the ongoing relative resilience of manufacturing, rising demand for exported goods and the lockdown measures having been less stringent on average than last year.”

The bloc’s economy was expected to grow 0.6% this quarter, a Reuters poll showed earlier this week, and will return to its pre-COVID-19 level within two years on hopes the rollout of vaccines will allow a return to some form of normality. [ECILT/EU]

A PMI covering the bloc’s dominant service industry dropped to 45.0 from 46.4, exceeding expectations in a Reuters poll that had predicted a steeper fall to 44.5 and still a long way from historic lows at the start of the pandemic.

With activity still in decline and restrictions likely to be in place for some time yet, services firms were forced to chop their charges. The output price index fell to 46.9 from 48.4, its lowest reading since June.

That will be disappointing for policymakers at the European Central Bank – who on Thursday left policy unchanged – as uncomfortably low inflation has been a thorn in the ECB’s side for years.

Factory activity remained strong and the manufacturing PMI held well above breakeven at 54.7, albeit weaker than December’s 55.2. The Reuters poll had predicted a drop to 54.5.

An index measuring output which feeds into the composite PMI fell to 54.5 from 56.3.

But despite strong demand factories again cut headcount, as they have every month since May 2019. The employment index fell to 48.9 from 49.2.

As immunisation programmes are being ramped up after a slow start in Europe optimism about the coming year remained strong. The composite future output index dipped to 63.6 from December’s near three-year high of 64.5.

“The roll out of vaccines has meanwhile helped sustain a strong degree of confidence about prospects for the year ahead, though the recent rise in virus case numbers has caused some pull-back in optimism,” Williamson said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Business

Volkswagen’s profit halves, but deliveries recovering

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Volkswagen's profit halves, but deliveries recovering 5

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen reported a nearly 50% drop in its 2020 adjusted operating profit on Friday but said car deliveries had recovered strongly in the fourth quarter, lifting its shares.

The world’s largest carmaker said full-year operating profit, excluding costs related to its diesel emissions scandal, came in at 10 billion euros ($12.2 billion), compared with 19.3 billion in 2019.

Net cash flow at its automotive division was around 6 billion euros and car deliveries picked up towards the end of the year, the German group said in a statement.

“The deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group continued to recover strongly in the fourth quarter and even exceeded the deliveries of the third quarter 2020,” it said.

Volkswagen’s shares, which had been down as much as 2%, turned positive and were up 1.5% at 164.32 euros by 1158 GMT.

Sales at the automaker rose 1.7% in December, at a time when new car registrations in Europe dropped nearly 4%, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed.

Like its rivals, Volkswagen is facing several challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as a global shortage of chips needed for production.

It also sees tough competition in developing electrified and self-driving cars. The merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA to create the world’s fourth-biggest automaker Stellantis adds to the pressure.

Volkswagen said on Thursday it missed EU targets on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its passenger car fleet last year and faces a fine of more than 100 million euros.

The group is expected to release detailed 2020 figures on March 16.

($1 = 0.8215 euros)

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)

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Global chip shortage hits China’s bitcoin mining sector

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Global chip shortage hits China's bitcoin mining sector 6

By Samuel Shen and Alun John

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – A global chip shortage is choking the production of machines used to “mine” bitcoin, a sector dominated by China, sending prices of the computer equipment soaring as a surge in the cryptocurrency drives demand.

The scramble is pricing out smaller miners and accelerating an industry consolidation that could see deep-pocketed players, many outside China, profit from the bitcoin bull run.

Bitcoin mining is closely watched by traders and users of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, as the amount of bitcoin they make and sell into the market affects its supply and price.

Trading around $32,000 on Friday, bitcoin is down 20% from the record highs it struck two weeks ago but still up some 700% from its March low of $3,850.

“There are not enough chips to support the production of mining rigs,” said Alex Ao, vice president of Innosilicon, a chip designer and major provider of mining equipment.

Bitcoin miners use increasingly powerful, specially-designed computer equipment, or rigs, to verify bitcoin transactions in a process which produces newly minted bitcoins.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics Co, the main producers of specially designed chips used in mining rigs, would also prioritise supplies to sectors such as consumer electronics, whose chip demand is seen as more stable, Ao said.

The global chip shortage is disrupting production across a global array of products, including automobiles, laptops and mobile phones. [L1N2JP2MY]

Mining’s profitability depends on bitcoin’s price, the cost of the electricity used to power the rig, the rig’s efficiency, and how much computing power is needed to mine a bitcoin.

Demand for rigs has boomed as bitcoin prices soared, said Gordon Chen, co-founder of cryptocurrency asset manager and miner GMR.

“When gold prices jump, you need more shovels. When milk prices rise, you want more cows.”

CONSOLIDATION

Lei Tong, managing director of financial services at Babel Finance, which lends to miners, said that “almost all major miners are scouring the market for rigs, and they are willing to pay high prices for second-hand machines.”

“Purchase volumes from North America have been huge, squeezing supply in China,” he said, adding that many miners are placing orders for products that can only be delivered in August and September.

Most of the products of Bitmain, one of the biggest rig makers in China, are sold out, according the company’s website.

A sales manager at Jiangsu Haifanxin Technology, a rig merchant, said prices on the second-hand market have jumped 50% to 60% over the past year, while prices of new equipment more than doubled. High-end, second-hand mining machines were quoted around $5,000.

“It’s natural if you look at how much bitcoin has risen,” said the manager, who identified himself on by his surname Li.

The cryptocurrency surge is affecting who is able to mine.

The increasing cost of investment is eliminating smaller players, said Raymond Yuan, founder of Atlas Mining, which owns one of China’s biggest mining business.

“Institutional investors benefit from both large scale and proficiency in management whereas retail investors who couldn’t keep up will be weeded out,” said Yuan, whose company has invested over $500 million in cryptocurrency mining and plans to keep investing heavily.

Many of the larger players growing their mining operations are based outside of China, often in North America and the Middle East, said Wayne Zhao, chief operating officer of crypto research company TokenInsight.

“China used to have low electricity costs as one core advantage, but as the bitcoin price rises now, that has gone,” he said.

Zhao said that while previously bitcoin mining in China used to account for as much as 80% of the world’s total, it now accounted for around 50%.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Alun John; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and William Mallard)

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