Study: Poor Data Management Costs Companies Billions

Compiled By Gina Protopapa Global businesses lose over $1.4 billion a year due to poor data management, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The Global Data Management Survey 2001 found that 75% of companies surveyed had experienced significant problems as a result of faulty data, while up to one-third had been forced to delay or scrap new systems. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed say they have become increasingly reliant on electronic data to make company decisions and implement processes. Yet the survey points to dangerous levels of complacency regarding data management issues within these same organizations. Of the respondents, only 15% considered themselves to be very confident about the quality of other organizations' data. PricewaterhouseCoopers says such results suggest a strong sense of unease among respondents about the accuracy and integrity of the data passing between organizations -- which casts doubt on the viability of executing e-business strategies that are dependent on quality data. The survey underlines commercial benefits for those companies that get their data management strategy right. Three-quarters of respondents reported that investment in effective data management had improved bottom-line results across their business. Almost 60% of respondents had reduced their processing costs, and well over 40% said they had boosted sales through better analysis of customer data. "While historically there has been evidence of board-level complacency on the issue of data management, we are now finding that companies in the U.S. market are beginning to realize the strategic importance of reliable data," says John Benge, data management partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Risk Management Solutions. "To discover that over half of our global respondents discuss data management -- even if only occasionally -- is a huge improvement across industries." The Global Management Survey 2001 interviewed 600 CIOs, IT directors, or equivalent executives at large and middle-market companies in the Americas, Europe, and Australia. The survey was conducted during November and December 2000. Information or a copy of the report are available at PricewaterhouseCoopers' data management home page.

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