A survey conducted by Bull Information Systems found that 66% of business decision makers felt the quality of the data their companies held was unsatisfactory, with IT directors (84%) and marketing directors (80%) having the highest levels of complaints.
The most common reason given for the low quality of data was an insufficient IT infrastructure. Almost half of IT directors (44%) and a quarter of HR directors (24%) quoted this as the most important factor. One in five of the whole sample said data being stored in siloes and different systems meant it was difficult to get to or use effectively.
Bull Information Systems CEO for UK and Ireland Andrew Carr told HR magazine the results showed a worrying trend for companies who rely heavily on this information.
"This information is vital to organisations who want to increase their efficiency and profitability," he said. "It's not just the information you have stored that is important but how you use it to help you find a narrative within your company."
More than half of the respondents (56%) said the data was inaccurate, with 22% calling it only "fairly accurate".
Carr says that this is a real problem for businesses, especially HR functions that rely heavily on it.
"Live and accurate data is crucial to get a real sight of your workforce," he said. "Without it companies are not going to be able to get a clear picture of what is happening with their employees."