Data decay, also known as data degradation, refers to the gradual deterioration of data quality over time. It is a common phenomenon that affects all types of data, including customer data, marketing data, and business data.

As data ages, it can become outdated or inaccurate due to a variety of factors, such as changes in customer behavior, business operations, or market trends. For example, contact information for customers may change as they move or switch jobs, or product prices may fluctuate over time.

The Real Impact of Data Decay

Data decay can have significant negative impacts on businesses. Outdated or inaccurate data can lead to wasted time and resources on marketing campaigns that target the wrong audience or customers who are no longer interested in a particular product or service. It can also harm customer relationships by sending them irrelevant or incorrect information.

Trends and Statistics of Data Decay

According to a study by Dun & Bradstreet, 22% of businesses' customer data becomes outdated every year. This means that a significant portion of customer data can become inaccurate and unreliable over time.

The cost of bad data can be significant for businesses. In fact, Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs organizations an average of $15 million per year.

The problem of data decay is only getting worse with time. As businesses collect and store more data, the volume and complexity of their data management challenges increase, making it more difficult to maintain the accuracy and relevancy of their data.

Data decay is a particular problem for businesses in fast-moving industries, such as technology, where trends and customer behaviors can change rapidly.

How to Stop Data Decay

To combat data decay and degradation, businesses must implement data management technology and strategies to ensure the accuracy and relevancy of their data. The right technology and associated business process can support data profiling, maintenance, and cleansing on a continual basis. Failure to address data decay and degradation can lead to wasted time and resources, as well as lost opportunities for business growth and success.

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Four Ways to Address Data Decay

Implement data governance policies

Data governance policies help ensure that data quality is maintained over time. This involves establishing standards for data management and usage, such as data entry standards, data usage policies, and data access controls. Data governance policies can help prevent data decay by ensuring that data is properly managed and maintained. We can help with data governance.

Monitor data quality metrics

Monitoring data quality metrics, such as data completeness and accuracy, can help identify data decay issues before they become a problem. Establishing data quality metrics and monitoring them regularly can help ensure that your data remains accurate and reliable over time. Discover our data management and analytics services.

Regularly clean and verify data

One of the most effective ways to combat data decay is to regularly clean and verify your data. This involves identifying and removing outdated or inaccurate data, such as contact information for customers who have moved or changed jobs. It's important to establish a regular schedule for data cleaning to ensure that your data remains accurate and up-to-date. Discover our data cleansing services.

Regularly update data sources

To combat data decay, it's important to regularly update your data sources. This includes updating product and pricing information, as well as staying up-to-date on market trends and customer behavior. Regularly updating your data sources can help ensure that your data remains accurate and relevant over time. Understand how master data management can support your data quality.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can combat data decay and ensure that their data remains accurate and reliable over time. Failure to address data decay can lead to lost opportunities for business growth and success. Reach out today for a consultative call with a data expert.

About the Author

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Vinny Maurici

VP of Data Engineering

As Vice President of Data Engineering, Vinny is accountable for the growth, success and thought leadership of the Data Management business at Object Edge. He brings 15+ years of master data, merchandising, and governance experience; and has launched several successful enterprise and Fortune 500 global product data programs in B2B Manufacturing and Distribution, Retail, and Food Services.

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