What is the true cost of bad data?

October 20, 2022

Reliable insights are essential to good business decisions, yet all too often executives are handicapped by bad data.

Bad data is the end result of flawed research methodologies that start with poor recruiting. Finding the right respondents who have the specific insights you need is the foundation of generating valid and useful insights. If you don’t get this first step right, you are wasting time and money–and much, much more. Here is a deeper look into the true cost of bad data.

In fact, IBM has estimated that poor quality data costs the U.S. $3 trillion each year.   

What is good vs. bad data?

You need the best possible data to make the best possible business decisions. Having confidence in your data with traditional B2B market research approaches is hard to come by. Bad data is all too common due to flawed research.

We’ve done a complete rethink of what it takes to get good data. Truly insightful data requires these five elements: 

  1. Qualified, verified respondents: You need to talk to individuals that meet specific criteria and who are ID-checked and verified to be who they say they are and to have the expertise and experience they say they have. That means no imposters, scammers or bots.
  2. Right mix of methodologies:. Use both qualitative and quantitative approaches in complementary ways for in-depth and statistically valid insights.
  3. Using the latest technologies: Whether it is using advanced queries, artificial intelligence, or innovative APIs, enhance your capabilities with cutting edge data science.
  4. Fresh and current sourcing: Stay on top of rapid change and the opportunities and risks it brings with ongoing tracking.
  5. Business savvy analysis: Work with a partner who can combine research expertise with industry knowledge to extract maximum value from your data.


We ended up having to throw out 30-40% of our data every time we conducted a market research study.


Quantifying the cost of bad data

Various studies have sought to measure the extent of bad data in decision-making and to put a dollar figure on it:

Cap Gemini’s February 2021 The Data-Powered Enterprise study has been quoted by everyone from IBM to The Harvard Business Review. It claims 40 trillion gigabytes of data exist today, more than “there are grains of sand on earth.”

  • 73% of business executives are unhappy with data quality
  • 61% of organizations can’t harness data for a competitive advantage
  • $15M is the average cost of bad data per surveyed company

Reliable data is no luxury. Inaccurate data has a tremendous impact on business. The 20% of executives who trust their data report seeing 22% higher profitability, with revenue per employee up 70%. 

Experian Data Quality research looks specifically at how inaccurate data limits customer insights.  

  • 85% of respondents consider data as a valuable asset
  • 28% believe their customer data is inaccurate
  • 40% of respondents do not trust data insights.

48% of executives have made at least one bad business decision in the last six months because the research they relied on was based on a poor sample or on expertise that was not available, according to Greenbook’s 2022 Business & Innovation GRIT Report.  

The data quality challenge becomes even more pronounced when you leave these generalities and start looking for specific and detailed information relevant to your business, your products, and your customers. Finding consumers who drink Coca-Cola is easy. Finding senior executives and subject matter experts from select forward-thinking companies who can tell you how they plan to integrate metaverse capabilities into their products is like finding a needle in a haystack.


The compounding costs of bad data

When bad data makes it past the research firm and into the hands of a client, losses continue to compound. Not only has the client paid for poor information, they will use that information to make poor business decisions.


The compounding costs of bad data

Bad data is a waste of time. If your market research collects fraudulent answers from respondents who are not qualified, they waste time first in surveying them and then even more time in stripping out their answers. 

It wastes development time and resources. If your market research surveys people who lack the experience or expertise to provide details on real pain points, your development team may create products with useless features that miss a real market need.

That brings us to missed opportunities. When you don’t hear about the real needs and concerns of your market, you won’t be able to address them. It may well be that your competition does not make that mistake. They get to market quickly with a product or service that rises to dominance, leaving you in the dust. 

Wasting money on research that produces bad data is just part of the cost. Your losses compound with wasted time, products that don’t sell and missing the market.


How NewtonX fixes bad data problems

NewtonX has transformed the way companies conduct B2B market research:


NewtonX solves key data challenges in B2B research


  1. Finding precisely the right respondents

We use AI to custom-recruit the precise professionals you need to reach to get answers to your most critical questions. In this way, we can provide a sizable pool of individuals that meet your specific criteria with the niche knowledge that matters.  


  1. Verifying identities, roles, and expertise

We verify and identity-check respondents to ensure that they are who they say they are and know what they say they know. Our samples are 100% fraud free, with no bots, scammers, or imposters.


  1. Innovating with research methodologies

The NewtonX Q3 Formula uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies applied to the same population. We start with 1:1 interviews that inform a survey to test initial findings at scale.We can then follow up with individual candidates for further discussion.


  1. Sourcing data quickly

Speed to market matters. So does being able to respond quickly to changes in the business and competitive environment. We field research quickly so you have real-time insights that give you the agility you need to confidently make decisions in the now.


  1. Providing consultative insights

Our knowledge of market research best practices goes hand-in-hand with deep experience in some of the hottest and most competitive B2B industries. We provide consulting support to clients so that they get exceptional value from every engagement and project.


NewtonX has established a growing reputation for reliable B2B data

Since our founding in 2020, NewtonX has made its mark as a go-to source of custom B2B market research that that puts an end to bad data.


Priven results delivering for the Fortune 500, top market research companies and management consultancies


In a fast-moving and highly competitive field, we have earned the trust of some of the biggest names across industries. Over 96% of our clients return for a second project, and 55% refer us to one or more colleagues.

If your company needs reliable data, contact NewtonX. We start with an expert consultation and are in the field within days. You’ll start seeing results within weeks and detailed reports in less than a month in most cases. Get in touch to find out more about how our efficiency and accuracy benefits your bottom line.

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