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Article: Data quality today

The Insights Association town hall and Walmart Luminate’s first-party advantage

One of the most important issues in our industry is that not all data is created equal. As a result, your business decisions are only as good as the data you’re basing them on. Accuracy, validity, completeness, consistency, timeliness–these are things we obsess about at Walmart Data Ventures and in my role as Group Director of Product Management. We are all keenly aware of how crucial data quality is, especially to our Merchants and suppliers who use it to make critical decisions on behalf of our customers. 

The Insights Association (IA) recently hosted a town hall webinar on the state of data quality. If you’re not familiar with this group, you should be. The Insights Association promotes the research and insights industry, advises on best practices and standards, and champions the role of insights in business. The IA’s Council for Data Integrity includes industry leaders and experts, and its goal is to educate and develop guidelines on sample quality, data quality, and data integrity.  

The IA surveyed its members who work in research agencies, tech companies, and brands to gauge their view on the current state of data integrity and quality. Here are a few takeaways they shared in the town hall that I think will matter to you.

What IA members are saying

Data fraud is the members’ highest concern under the data quality umbrella. It’s no surprise that data fraud can interfere with a business’s ability to make smart decisions; what is surprising is that more than half—56%—of the IA members say it currently impacts them* and estimate around 21% of the data they work with is flagged for fraud.

Members showed interest in paying a premium to ensure data quality and integrity, with some even considering investing up to 26% more than the cost of a study or survey. This underscores the demand for high-quality data, as well as its value and the frustration members are feeling.

The IA then polled attendees during the town hall about the data quality issues that impact their businesses the most. Their answers included:

  • Fraud
  • Cheaters
  • Bots
  • Duplicate respondents
  • Poorly written open-ended questions

It was also interesting to hear the crowd discuss how generative AI responses in open-ended questions could impact data quality.

Data-driven decisions with first-party data 

We often hear similar worries from our Walmart Luminate subscribers. Avoiding data fraud and maintaining high data quality and integrity standards are key in understanding the current state of your business and making smarter decisions for your growth and success. Walmart Data Ventures was founded with this mission, and that is why our first product suite, Walmart Luminate, provides Walmart first-party data to our subscribers. The transactional data accessible from within Walmart Luminate is refreshed daily and tells a powerful story about brand and product performance all the way down to the store and UPC level. 

This transactional data shows you what, how, and when products are purchased, with no shopper recall needed. You can then tap into sentiment and context from the Walmart Spark Customer Community to learn more about what is driving shopping behaviors. It’s a secure ecosystem where you can have a conversation with vetted and verified Walmart shoppers about their purchases, shopping behaviors, and more. Not sure what to ask, or who? Our Customer Perception Research Services team can help craft a survey with you. They can advise about the right types of questions to ask and the right audience to target to reap the most meaningful insights about your business.   

What I really love about working with these data-driven tools is you can use them to tackle a wide range of business goals. Harness the insights to think big with campaigns, product launches, and category expansion, or drill into granular data to reveal what’s working well and what needs to change—or all of the above. 

Turning the tide

While the IA covered the risks associated with data fraud and poor data quality and integrity, they made a point to leave attendees with an encouragement: never accept poor data quality as the norm. As frustrating as it can feel at times, the way forward—and toward better data quality and integrity—is to push back. I agree with them; it’s what our team here at Walmart Data Ventures works toward every day, and why we love what we do. 


*The Insights Association, 2024.