Can Companies Validate All of Their Customer Data? - eMarketer

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Can Companies Validate All of Their Customer Data?

Less than a fifth of IT decision-makers have fully automated customer information authentication

July 7, 2015

Big data management requires a big makeover. While recent research finds that most companies have moved customer information collection to digital channels, they struggle with inaccuracies due to poor, time-consuming validation systems.

Level of Confidence in the Accuracy of Information Collected from Their Customers Among US IT Decision-Makers, May 2015 (% of respondents)

According to May 2015 polling by Acuant, the majority of companies have taken customer data input off consumers’ hands. When asked about the primary method used to capture customer information, 55% of US IT decision-makers said they used card scanning technology, where a customer scans an ID that then populates all key personal info. Fewer than one-fifth used a paper-based system, where someone photocopies and archives key documents such as a driver's license, 17% had customers enter key info on paper or a tablet, and 9% relied on phone-based collection, requiring customers to provide key info by phone to an employee.

However, respondents were so-so on the accuracy of information collected from customers. Fewer than three in 10 were very confident that they rarely made a mistake. Meanwhile, nearly six in 10 said they were just somewhat confident, reporting that their systems worked well but had occasional errors, and an additional 10% were only fairly confident, saying that the info they collected often had a mistake or two, which they eventually identified and corrected.

Best Description of Their Process for Validating/Authenticating Information Collected from Customers According to US IT Decision-Makers, May 2015 (% of respondents)

One key reason the large majority of respondents may encounter issues could be due to poor validation processes. While 70% of IT decision-makers said they validated information captured from customers to ensure accuracy, just 17% had fully automated this process. In comparison, more than seven in 10 respondents said this process was time-consuming to some extent, with few or no systems in place.

While companies have improved data collection, marketing technology adoption has yet to catch up, limiting just how much they can act on insights. However, whether they want to or not, marketers will be forced to get technology on data’s level in the future, or risk getting crushed by the competition, based on recent research. When a January 2015 study by EMC asked business leaders worldwide about the technology trends that would change how their businesses operate in the next five to 10 years, big data analytics (43%) and automation (37%) were the top responses.

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