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Validity Launches 2022 State of CRM Data Health Report, Finds Data Confidence Does Not Match Reality

Today Validity, the leading provider of data quality and email marketing success solutions, released the findings of its new  2022 State of CRM Data Health Report. Over 1,200 CRM users and stakeholders across the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia were surveyed, with findings indicating that CRM users have unfounded confidence in the quality of their data — and revealing the crippling bottom-line impact of this disconnect.

Maintaining high quality data health remains a challenge for many businesses, who reported poor quality CRM data resulted in significant customer losses, sales deficits, and high employee turnover. Yet, despite acknowledging these issues, 76%of respondents still characterised their CRM data quality as either “good” or “very good” at the onset of the survey, only to later reveal that poor CRM data quality is actually costing their company new sales and 75% stating inadequate outreach driven by poor data lost their company customers. Heightening this tension between confidence and reality are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 79% of respondents agreeing that data decay has accelerated at an unprecedented rate as a result of the pandemic. 

A major concern with data decay is a lack of acknowledgement and remediation-focused support from company leadership, who are currently not prioritising data quality initiatives per the report. Why does this matter? Poor data integrity trickles down to all levels of an organisation and can quickly snowball into overarching unethical data practices that hurt brand reputation and customer trust. In fact, 75% of respondents admit employees fabricate data to tell the story they want decision makers to hear. Meanwhile, 82% say they are asked to find data to support a specific story, rather than provide accurate data. This means that overwhelmingly, leaders are making important business decisions based on manipulated and inaccurate data.

Low-quality data also has the potential to impact relationships amongst co-workers. Over half (67%) of the study’s respondents said poor data quality creates tension between the CRM maintenance team and the marketing department, jeopardising employee satisfaction in an already difficult hiring climate. These trends also extend to current CRM employees, who have less patience for low-quality data and usability roadblocks that make it difficult to do their jobs. 

“Everything an organisation does starts with, and relies on, accurate CRM data – from marketing campaigns to sales development activity to providing an excellent customer experience and beyond, ” said Kate Adams, SVP of Marketing at Validity. “While the findings of this report may initially be bleak, there is hope. As the initial shockwaves of the pandemic ebb, many organisations are realigning their budgets and planning to invest in the betterment of their data health and quality. The upward trends of companies dedicating a portion of their budget to hire a full-time CRM data quality employee, and taking data quality more seriously in light of COVID-19 related data decay are highly encouraging.”

Additional key report findings include: 
  •  44% of respondents estimate their company loses over 10% in annual revenue due to poor quality CRM data
  • Yet, only 19% of respondents said CRM data quality is a high-priority initiative for leadership
    • 25% said leadership is aware of data quality issues but supports no specific data quality initiatives
    • 14% said leadership is oblivious to data quality issues
  • Unfortunately, 95% of respondents report data quality issues seriously impair their ability to fully leverage their CRM system 
  • Additionally, respondents estimate their CRM data quality will degrade by 34% by the end of 2022 if their company doesn’t invest in improvements. 
  • However, companies are planning to address these issues with increased budgets and full-time staff. 57% expect their company to increase data management budgets in 2022 while 56% of those who do not currently have full-time employee(s) dedicated to CRM data quality have active plans to make hires in the next 6 months. This fills a much needed gap as organisations globally have been relegating mission critical CRM work to intern and temp workers, with a whopping median of 20 intern and temp workers per organisation. 

Key report findings for Australian market include:

  • Despite 75% of respondents rating the overall accuracy, quality and usefulness of the data in their CRM system as “good” or “very good”, many reported that poor quality CRM data results in significant business challenges, including:
    • Their company loses existing customers (61%)
    • Their company loses high quality employees (41%)
    • Their company loses new sales (56%)
    • Duplicate and/or inadequate outreach driven by poor data quality loses their company customers (82%)
    • Additionally, 42% of respondents estimate their company loses over 10% in revenue due to poor data quality

  • Reliance on data remains high in Australian organisations, despite concerns of inaccuracy. For example, 93% of respondents agree that most decision makers within their company rely on CRM data to make key decisions for their department, however 43% say that the data requisition to drive decisions is often inaccurate, and 29% say that the CRM data requested to drive decisions often does not exist at all

  • This situation has created unethical behaviours including:
    • 37% of respondents say that staff often manipulate data to tell the story they want decision makers to hear, while 34% say that staff often fabricate data for the same reason
    • 37% of respondents say that they are often asked to find data to support a specific story, rather than providing accurate data  
    • 12% said that leaders never change their decision when counter data is offered 
  • COVID-19 has accelerated data decay, with 74% of respondents agreeing that data decay increased as a result of the pandemic. Specifically, 71% say that an increase in movement of employees between jobs and/or locations since March 2020 has led to an all-time low in data quality. On a more positive note, 79% say that their company is taking data quality needs more seriously in light of COVID-19-related data decay

  • Increased budgets for CRM data will be a necessity for organisational success and employee retention in Australia, as Validity’s research found:
  • 65% of respondents would consider leaving their current role if additional resources are not allocated to a robust CRM data quality plan
  • It’s estimated inaccurate data in an organisations’ CRM will increase by an average of 23% by the end of 2022 if companies do not invest in improvements
  • 85% of respondents agree that investing in data quality needs to be the top priority for their company

  • Fortunately, companies are heeding the warning signs, with 53% reporting that their company’s budgets increased in 2021 from 2020, and 54% expect their company to increase budgets in 2022 compared to 2021

  • Beyond budget, a key barrier to improving CRM data quality is that initiatives are not backed by leadership and organisations aren’t clear on whose responsibility CRM data management is. Validity’s report found:
    • Only 21% of respondents say that maintaining CRM data quality is a high priority initiative for company leadership
    • 27% say that leadership is aware but does not support any data quality initiatives
    • 13% say that leadership is oblivious to data quality issues
    • An alarming 19% say that management does whatever they want regardless of what the data says
    • 16% say that managing the data in their CRM system is the full-time responsibility of a single person or department
    • 20% say that it is the full-time responsibility of a cross-functional team
    • 11% say that the owning department is debated internally within their organisation
  • Revealingly, those who rate the overall accuracy, quality, and usefulness of the data in their CRM system as “poor” or “very poor” were 267% more likely than those who rated their data as “good” or “very good” to say that there is no one responsible for managing the data in their CRM system
  • Fortunately, CRM data quality management hires are set to increase in Australia: 
  • 84% of those who do not currently have a full-time headcount dedicated to CRM data quality plan to hire that role within the next 12 months or sooner
  • 42% plan to hire for this role within the next three months

To learn more about the 2022 State of CRM Data Health Report, click here


Validity conducted the State of Data Health survey online between November 19 and December 13, 2021. It reflects the opinions of 1,241 customer relationship management administration workers in the technology, retail, e-commerce, professional services, healthcare, travel, distribution, or manufacturing sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, or Australia and was conducted at 95% confidence with a +/- 4-6% margin of error dependent on geo.


For over 20 years, tens of thousands of organisations throughout the world have relied on Validity solutions to target, contact, engage, and keep customers – using trustworthy data as a key advantage. The Validity flagship products – DemandTools, BriteVerify, Everest, and GridBuddy Connect – are all highly rated solutions for CRM data management, email address verification, inbox deliverability and avoiding the spam folder, and grid CRM applications. These solutions deliver smarter campaigns, more qualified leads, more productive sales, and ultimately faster growth. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.


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