Around 20% of the data in an enterprise is duplicate information, studies have found. There are many reasons why this is problematic. I'd like to highlight three.
1. Misinforming customers
Imagine a customer contact center of a large corporation. Two 95% equal versions of a protocol for customer communication are stored in their SharePoint environment. A call center agent might unintentionally use the older one. If a call turns to a topic covered by the 5% changed since the last update, the agent might misinform the customer based on the no-longer-valid protocol. Misinforming a client can have serious reputational and legal consequences.
2. Losing deals
Suppose a sales organization uses a document management system (DMS) to share client quotes they are collaborating on. Erroneously using any other version of a quote besides the most recent one might ultimately cause the company to lose a deal. There should be only one, namely the latest, version of a quote in the DMS at any time. The metadata associated with the document should enable it to be found easily and immediately be identified as the most recent one.
3. Wasting money
Think of a marketing company about to send out a massive print mailing to a large potential customer base. If there are several spreadsheets with address information available, how does the organization ensure they are sending out the mailing to the right people with correct address information? Any mistargeted mailing sent out costs the company money that could have been spent more efficiently. Having only one, up-to-date address list available internally prevents waste.