The true cost of dirty data is a great deal higher than estimated

Royal Mail has released new research into the cost of dirty data and its findings should send a warning to organisations that fail to keep their customer data up to date.

According to the research by the Data Services team out of date data could be costing companies up to six per cent of their annual revenues – a figure not to be sniffed at. This equates to an average of £30,000 per year; the same cost of an additional employee.

The research also revealed that over a third of businesses do not have any formal data cleansing processes in place, which with GDPR just around the corner is extremely concerning considering a key principle of the new directive is the requirement to responsibly store data including keeping it well maintained. The failure to do so could result in fines of up to four per cent of annual turnover, which for an average UK organisation could result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Moreover, add to this the opportunity cost of failing to keep the data up to date. Organisations could use the £30,000 to employ an additional sales person or implement more marketing campaigns both of which would significantly boost revenue. So the true cost of dirty data is in reality a great deal higher – not to mention the brand damage associated with sending mail to the deceased or home movers.