Organizations are interacting with consumers across an average of 3.6 channels and want real-time decisioning capabilities in at least half of those mediums, according to recent report from Experian QAS.

Seventy-nine percent of organizations surveyed for the report, titled “Unlock the power of data,” said customer profiling is important or very important to their overall business strategy. To support that initiative, the majority of companies (82 percent) now have an analytics department.

Ninety-four percent of respondents said they engage in real-time decision-making and analytics to help drive operational processes and sales. They use these capabilities in an average of two channels. While these channels varied by vertical, and Experian was unable to provide industry-specific responses, in general, the three most popular were the organization’s website, face-to-face interaction with a sales team and physical store or branch location.

However, according to the report, which consisted of a survey of 300 respondents from U.S. finance — including insurance — government, retail, manufacturing non-profit and utilities industries, while organizations want to utilize more analytics, many lack enough accurate information to successfully perform daily operations or make decisions.

The main challenges identified by respondents are outdated information, linking different sources of information and inaccurate data. On average, companies thought that 25 percent of their data was inaccurate. Only 13 percent of companies thought the problems with their data were small enough that it did not require an investment, and 76 percent of IT respondents are planning to make an investment in data quality, Experian said. Ninety-two percent of businesses will invest some of their 2013 technology budget on marketing technology. In fact, 94 percent of IT respondents believe they are spending some of their budget on marketing technology. On average, respondents in the survey thought 29 percent of the budget would be spent on marketing solutions.

“To operate effectively across channels, organizations need to have accurate customer data,” said Thomas Schutz, SVP, general manager of Experian QAS. “Unfortunately, poor data quality is widespread, meaning that companies are acting on misinformation and hurting daily operations. To keep up with tech-savvy, fast-moving consumers, organizations have to improve the quality of their information to gain the intelligence required in today’s competitive omnichannel environment.”

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