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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

 

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Exclusive: China’s Huawei, reeling from U.S. sanctions, plans foray into EVs – sources

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Exclusive: China's Huawei, reeling from U.S. sanctions, plans foray into EVs - sources 4

By Julie Zhu and Yilei Sun

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Huawei plans to make electric vehicles under its own brand and could launch some models this year, four sources said, as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, battered by U.S. sanctions, explores a strategic shift.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in talks with state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers to use their car plants to make its electric vehicles (EVs), according to two of the people familiar with the matter.

Huawei is also in discussions with Beijing-backed BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology to manufacture its EVs, said one of the two and a separate person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The plan heralds a potentially major shift in direction for Huawei after nearly two-years of U.S. sanctions that have cut its access to key supply chains, forcing it to sell a part of its smartphone business to keep the brand alive.

Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by the Trump administration over national security concerns. Many industry executives see little chance that blocks on the sale of billions of dollars of U.S. technology and chips to the Chinese company, which has denied wrongdoing, will be reversed by his successor.

A Huawei spokesman denied the company plans to design EVs or produce Huawei branded vehicles.

“Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However through ICT (information and communications technology), we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build better vehicles.”

Huawei has started internally designing the EVs and approaching suppliers at home, with the aim of officially launching the project as early as this year, three of the sources said.

Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group who led the company to become one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, will shift his focus to EVs, said one source. The EVs will target a mass-market segment, another source said.

All the sources declined to be named as the discussions are private.

Chongqing-based Changan, which is making cars with Ford Motor Co, declined to comment. BAIC BluePark did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Shares of Changan’s main listed company Chongqing Changan Automobile rose 8% after Reuters reported the discussions. BluePark’s shares jumped by their maximum 10% daily limit.

GROWING EV MARKET

Chinese technology firms have been stepping up their focus on EVs in the world’s biggest market for such vehicles, as Beijing heavily promotes greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including pure battery electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, are expected to make up 20% of China’s overall annual auto sales by 2025.

Industry forecasts put China’s NEV sales at 1.8 million units this year, up from about 1.3 million in 2020.

Huawei’s ambitious plans to make its own cars will see it join a raft of Asian tech companies that have made similar announcements in recent months, including Baidu Inc and Foxconn.

“The novel and complicated U.S. restrictions on semiconductors to Huawei have slowly been strangling the company,” said Dan Wang, a technology analyst with research firm Gavekal Dragonomics.

“So it makes sense that the company is pivoting to less chip-intensive industries in order to maintain operations.”

In the United States, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc are also developing auto-related technology or investing in smart-car startups.

Huawei has been developing a swathe of technologies for EVs for years including in-car software systems, sensors for automobiles and 5G communications hardware.

The company has also formed partnerships with automakers such as Daimler AG, General Motors Co and SAIC Motor to jointly develop smart auto technologies.

It has accelerated hiring of engineers for auto-related technologies since 2018.

Huawei was awarded at least four patents related to EVs this week, including methods for charging between electric vehicles and for checking battery health, according to official Chinese patent records.

Huawei’s push into the EV market is currently separate from a joint smart vehicle company it co-founded along with Changan and EV battery maker CATL in November, two of the sources said.

(Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Yilei Sun in Beijing; additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Richard Pullin)

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Facebook switches news back on in Australia, signs content deals

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Facebook switches news back on in Australia, signs content deals 5

By Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Facebook Inc ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site on Friday and announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers.

The moves reflected easing tensions between the U.S. company and the Australian government, a day after the country’s parliament passed a law forcing it and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay local media companies for using content on their platforms.

The new law makes Australia the first nation where a government arbitrator can set the price Facebook and Google pay domestic media to show their content if private negotiations fail. Canada and other countries have shown interest in replicating Australia’s reforms.

“Global tech giants, they are changing the world but we can’t let them run the world,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, adding that Big Tech must be accountable to sovereign governments.

Facebook, whose 8-day ban on Australian media captured global attention, said it had signed partnership agreements with Schwartz Media, Solstice Media and Private Media. The trio own a mix of publications, including weekly newspapers, online magazines and specialist periodicals.

Facebook did not disclose the financial details of the agreements, which will become effective within 60 days if a full deal is signed.

“These agreements will bring a new slate of premium journalism, including some previously paywalled content, to Facebook,” the social media company said in a statement.

The non-binding agreements allay some fears that small Australian publishers would be left out of revenue-sharing deals with Facebook and Google.

“It’s never been more important than it is now to have a plurality of voices in the Australian press,” said Schwartz Media Chief Executive Rebecca Costello.

Facebook on Tuesday struck a similar agreement with Seven West Media, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metropolitian newspaper in the city of Perth.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp has said it was also in talks with Facebook.

Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said in a statement published on Friday the company had found a “constructive path to support journalism”.

She thanked Australian users of the search engine for “bearing with us while we’ve sent you messages about this issue”.

Facebook and Google threatened for months to pull core services from Australia if the media laws, which some industry players claim are more about propping up ailing local media, took effect.

While Google struck deals with several publishers including News Corp as the legislation made its way through parliament, Facebook took the more drastic step of blocking all news content in Australia.

That stance led to amendments to the laws, including giving the government the power to exempt Facebook or Google from mandatory arbitration, and Facebook on Friday began restoring the Australian news sites.

(Reporting by Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Richard Pullin and Jane Wardell)

 

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China’s factory activity growth likely moderated during February holiday lull – Reuters poll

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China's factory activity growth likely moderated during February holiday lull - Reuters poll 6

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity likely grew at a slightly slower rate in February as factories closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, a Reuters poll showed, although growth is expected to remain firm, buoyed by an early resumption of production.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to dip marginally to 51.1 in February from 51.3 in January, according to the median forecast of 20 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.

Chinese factories typically scale back operations or close for lengthy periods around the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in the middle of February this year.

However, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the winter had prompted local governments and companies to dissuade workers from travelling back to their hometowns, giving a boost to the earlier-than-usual resumption of production at many factories, analysts say.

“Although government COVID-19 prevention measures may constrain some manufacturing activities in the near-term, the fact that a majority of migrant workers stayed in their workplace cities for the holiday should facilitate an earlier resumption of business activity following the holiday this year,” said analysts at Nomura in a note to client on Thursday.

Wang Zhishen, a migrant worker from Gansu, told Reuters that his factory, a manufacturer of logistics boxes in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan, only closed for three days during the holiday, thanks to overwhelming businesses. Lured by the 1,500-yuan cash subsidy his factory offered, he chose to work through the holiday.

The Chinese economy has largely shaken off the gloom from the COVID-19 health crisis, with consumers opening up their wallets after months of hesitation. Growth is now set to rebound sharply this quarter, also helped by the low base effect of a year ago.

The country has successfully curbed the domestic transmission of the COVID-19 virus in northern China, with the national health authority reporting zero new local cases for the 11th straight day. Cities that were on lockdown have since vowed to push for a work resumption at full speed.

The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, and its sister survey on the services sector, will both be released on Sunday.

The private Caixin manufacturing PMI will be published on Monday. Analysts expect the headline reading will dip slightly to 51.4 from 51.5 in January.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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