- UK Essential Industries need to be more strategic about data quality

AMT-SYBEX announces new research findings that reveal organisations in the UK's essential industries need to be more strategic about data quality management in order to meet regulatory demands and maximise operational performance.

[UKPRwire, Wed Nov 08 2006] New research has revealed that companies in the UK’s Utility and Transport sectors need to be more strategic about data quality management if they want to maximise operational performance, meet increasing regulatory demands and get real value from business information.

The survey, undertaken by AMT-SYBEX – one of the UK’s leading providers of information management solutions – quizzed senior managers in the UK’s essential industries about a range of data quality issues from both an asset and customer information perspective. Results showed that more than half of all respondents were not satisfied with the performance of their organisation when it came to data quality management.

Findings showed that while companies in these sectors do now recognise data quality as a strategic corporate issue, many still fall short when it comes to implementing proactive, top-down initiatives to tackle inaccurate data. More than three quarters of participants said there was no real drive from their board for data quality improvement.

The report also revealed that the majority of organisations are leaving crucial data quality issues to be addressed by committee. Only one fifth of participants said data
quality management was the sole responsibility of a dedicated individual.

Key findings from the research also revealed:
• Companies are missing a trick by not assigning data quality to a specific individual. There was a strong correlation between user satisfaction levels and having a sole point of contact for data quality-related issues.
• 92 per cent of respondents stated that the volume of data being collected by utility and transport organisations in the UK is growing. 61 per cent claimed they had experienced growth rates of between 26 and 75 per cent in the last five years.
• 80 per cent of participants said their organisation had implemented a data quality policy. However more than half of this group said they were unsure or unconvinced of the appropriateness of the policy to strategic corporate goals.
• Employees in the nation’s transport and utility sectors deal with inaccurate, inconsistent data on a daily basis. However 56 per cent of respondents felt that frontline workers were largely unaware of the importance of data quality and only 36 per cent said employees would rate data quality as good or very good.

Commenting, Gordon Brown, Senior Consultant for Information Management at AMT-SYBEX said, “It’s encouraging that the UK’s essential industries have a desire to facilitate data quality improvements. However our research shows that for many organisations, the data quality policies being introduced are ineffective, communication on the subject of data quality is poor, and user confidence is low.”

Continuing, Brown said, “Both asset and customer-centric businesses need to address these issues as a priority. Corporate data must be fit for purpose otherwise organisations are exposed to risk. This is true for all business but particularly important in the essential industries which are under increasing pressure from industry regulators and consumer watchdogs when it comes to performance and accountability. To be truly effective, data quality must be championed at board level to ensure the company’s approach is fully understood across the enterprise and that policies and procedures are truly aligned with strategic corporate goals.“

AMT-SYBEX’s research also looked at the root causes of data quality issues. Two main culprits were identified - poor business processes and a lack of management accountability. The following areas also came directly under the spotlight:
• Operations not collecting appropriate data to support other business functions;
• Collection of non-validated data;
• Inputting incorrect data from manual correction, exceptions processing or third parties and agencies.

AMT-SYBEX is a consultancy and technology solutions provider focused on enabling the UK’s essential industries including utilities, transport, defence and the public sector. The company provides the best tools and advice on business performance and change, delivered by the most committed people. Founded in 1990, AMT-SYBEX has developed a record of strong and consistent achievement, working in close partnership with leading organisations to drive real performance increases through the delivery of faster, more flexible access to asset, customer and eGovernment information. These include services and solutions that deal with asset management, mobile working, information management, service provisions and customer and information support. The company is partnered with a number of leading essential industry providers including: National Grid, Untied Utilities, Transport for London (TfL), Network Rail, Scottish Power, ESB, Centrica, Scottish and Southern Energy, Powergen, EDF Energy, Metronet, South West Water and Veolia.

For further information about AMT-SYBEX, to arrange an interview or obtain a copy of the report: please contact the AMT-SYBEX press office: Natalie Yates / Kim Bithel at Ware Anthony Rust - Tel: 01223 566212 / 07714 766106 or by email: natalie.yates@war.uk.com / kim.bithel@war.uk.com

Alternatively please contact Jonathan Simon at AMT-SYBEX on Tel: 01462 476400 or by email: jonathan.simon@amt-sybex.com

Company: AMT-SYBEX

Contact Name: Kim Bithel

Contact Email: kim.bithel@war.uk.com

Contact Phone: 01223 566212

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