As more and more businesses get ready to face the data tsunami, data quality becoming an ever-more-critical success factor. Yet, 84% of CEOs are concerned about the quality of the data they’re basing critical business decisions on, according to KPMG’s “2016 Global CEO Outlook.

Procedures and perceptions about data quality at many organizations—what it is, how to improve it, and how to institutionalize it—haven’t kept pace with its growing importance. Many Talend customers, however, are the exception—they’ve made data quality a priority and are receiving the benefits.

Here are examples from six vertical industries illustrating how a focus on data quality has made a positive impact on business results.

Retail – Right Product, Right Place, Right Time

When Travis Perkins started their data quality journey company data was siloed and not maintained or validated in any consistent way. As the company was moving into a multichannel world, focusing more on online sales, data quality was key. Relying on assorted employees and suppliers to enter product information resulted in incomplete and inconsistent details—and while data was supposed to be manually reviewed and approved, that didn’t always happen.

Travis Perkins adopted Talend Data Quality to provide a data quality firewall that checks for duplicates, confirms that check digits are valid for barcodes, standardizes data, and maintains a consistent master list of values.

Since deploying the solution, 500,000 product descriptions have been checked for data quality by Talend. In addition, 10,000 updates to product entries were made in the first month after Talend went live, and Travis Perkins saw a 30 percent boost in website conversions, due in part to having consistent, accurate product descriptions.

Travis Perkins’ success in standardizing and validating data quality helps dispel the general misperception that “it’s hard to control data quality.”

Construction – Optimizing the human capital management

In any international group, communication with employees, collaboration, and identifying and sharing expertise are essential. But at VINCI, the global player in concessions and construction, managing employees turned out to be a matter of consolidating information contained in highly complex and diverse IT systems. With as many as 30% of internal emails failing to be sent, VINCI has become aware of the need to better manage and continually update data on its 157,000 employees.

VINCI selected Talend MDM to create a common language to be shared between all divisions as well as Talend Data Quality to correct these data and return them to all divisions and employees.

Since each division operates independently, it was important to make each division responsible for governing its own data. A support team was put in place to monitor the quality of the data and to identify errors in a monthly report. The group’s HRMs regularly intervene to identify errors and alert employees. Today, the error rate is as low as 0.05%, compared to nearly 8% in the past and the employee information is always up-to-date.

VINCI ’s successful centralized solution counters the misperception that “it’s still hard to make all data operations work together.”

Marketing – Optimizing marketing campaigns with quality data

For DMD Marketing, a pioneer in healthcare digital communications and connectivity, data quality is a key differentiator. Because the principal service DMD provides—emails to health care professionals—is essentially a commodity that can be supplied more cheaply by competitors, DMD needs to maintain its edge in data quality.

The company’s client base needs to know they are targeting the proper healthcare professionals, so having clean data for names, addresses, titles and more is vital. DMD has deployed Talend Cloud Data Preparation and Data Quality to help deliver that.

DMD also chose Talend for its data stewardship and self-service functionality. The company felt it was important to enable its internal users and, to a certain extent, its clients, to get in and see the email data and web tracking data on their own—without needing advanced technical skills. The company is also moving away from manual processes with manual data checks and is instead automating as much as possible, then providing human users access so they can augment and enhance the data.

The ROI for DMD Marketing includes raising the mail deliverability rate to a verified 95 percent, reducing email turnaround time from three days to one, and getting a 50 percent faster time to insight.

DMD Marketing’s success in empowering internal users and clients to monitor data quality proves it’s not true that “data quality software is complicated and just for experts.”

Media – Exposing data to the public

In early 2016, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the Panama Papers –one of the biggest tax-related data leaks in recent history involving 2.6 Terabytes (TBs) of information. It exposed the widespread use of offshore tax havens and shell companies by thousands of wealthy individuals and political officials, including the British and Icelandic Prime Ministers. Now if that wasn’t fascinating or mind-blowing enough, shortly after came the Paradise Papers –wherein 1.4 Terabytes of documents were leaked to two reporters at the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

To make public a database containing millions of documents, ICIJ raised its requirements for data quality and for documenting data integration procedures. Since millions of people would see the information, a mistake could be catastrophic for ICIJ in terms of reputation and lawsuits.

Talend Data Quality became ICIJ ‘s preferred solution when it came to cleaning, transforming, and integrating the data they received. It was key for ICIJ’s data team to efficiently work remotely across two continents and have each step of the preparation process documented.

The Panama and Paradise Papers investigation has found an extraordinary global audience, which was unprecedented for ICIJ and their media partners. Within two months of Panama Papers publication, ICIJ’s digital products received more than 70 million page views from countries all around the world. In the six weeks after public disclosure of the Paradise Papers, Facebook users had viewed posts about the project a staggering 182 million times. On Twitter, people liked or retweeted content related to the Paradise Papers more than 1.5 million times.

These series of investigations in which the ICIJ and its partners used mass data to examine offshore-related matters — advances public knowledge to yet another level.

ICIJ’s public database, with unimpeachable data quality, shows it’s not true that “data quality is just for traditional data warehouses.”

Charity – Saving lives

Save the Children UK (SCUK) saves lives by preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies. The charity has been using Talend Data Quality to dedupe data being imported into the database of donors, and to review existing CRM data.

By reducing duplicates and improving data quality, the charity ensures the information it has on an individual is as accurate as possible. That, in turn, aids in ensuring that donors receive only the information they ask for, and allows SCUK to manage the flow of messages to them in a truly relevant manner.

Improved data quality also helps SCUK avoid alienating its donors. For example, if the charity has three records for a J. Smith, John Smith, and J. Smyth with slight variations in the held addresses, and it’s all the same person, they might mail him three times for the same campaign. That costs SCUK money, and may prompt the donor to say they do not wish to be contacted anymore. In addition, efficiently importing higher-quality data supports the production of better, faster reporting by analysts and provides SCUK greater insight into donor behavior and motivations.

SCUK’s commitment to an ongoing campaign to maintain a clean, accurate donor record shows that ensuring data quality is a process and not an event, and that “once you solve your data quality problem, you’re done,” is an outdated misperception.

Transportation – Being compliant with regulations

A world leader in transporting passengers and cargo, Air France-KLM needs high-quality data to meet its goal of catering to every one of its customers. It needs accurate phone numbers and emails, which are essential for booking flights, and it needs to reconcile online and offline information, since visitors to these sites and applications are most often connected to their personal accounts. Data management was a challenge, and Air France-KLM resolved to get organized in order to ensure data quality, respect the privacy of its customers and offer customers and employees a clear benefit.

In addition, Air France-KLM collects and processes personal data (PII, or personally identifiable information) concerning passengers who use the services available on its website, its mobile site, and its mobile applications. The company is committed to respecting privacy protection regulations regarding its passengers, loyalty program members, prospects and website visitors. All personal data processing is therefore carried out with Talend Data Masking, which makes it possible to anonymize certain sensitive data and make it unidentifiable in order to prevent unauthorized access.

Every month, a million pieces of data are corrected with Talend Data Quality—proof of the essential role the Talend solution plays in ensuring Air France-KLM can deliver on its promise to cater to every customer. Their success also proves that it’s no longer true that “data quality falls under IT responsibility”; rather, it’s a business priority with such goals as respecting customer privacy.


All these Talend customers have moved beyond existing misperceptions about data quality and have implemented solutions that deliver a competitive advantage, enable them to meet their responsibilities as data stewards, and contribute to the success of their organizations.