More than half of businesses in the UKs financial services sector struggle to use and understand the customer data they collect, a survey of IT decision makers has found.
The findings also show that centralising data is a key challenge for more than two-fifths of firms, with a similar number unable to provide a consistent digital experience across all channels.
John Hayes-Warren, head of vertical markets at Claranet UK, which commissioned the research, said legacy systems were hindering companies' ability to act on data in real time.
"These unconnected and incompatible IT systems create data siloes and prevent data and insights from being discovered and actioned within organisations," he continued.
"Cloud technologies can help a great deal, providing the tooling and infrastructure needed to collect, process, and analyse vast sets of data from across the organisation and make it actionable in real time."
The rewards for companies that harness customer data effectively could be huge, with previous research estimating that leading insurers could boost revenues by £267bn within five years.
Hayes-Warren said these firms could gain a much deeper understanding of their customers, better predict, improve and personalise their experiences, and create stronger brand loyalty.
However, customer satisfaction with the insurance industry in the UK is on the decline according to The Institute of Customer Services, potentially costing the country billions in GDP.
In-person experiences remain below average, with many companies failing to ensure consistent customer service strategies across all channels.
"So addressing data management shortcomings needs to be a priority for any business that is passionate about delivering a positive customer experience," Hayes-Warren said.
"By creating a platform that can capture and analyse data from across an organisation, leaders can discover unique insights, issues and opportunities that will ultimately help them achieve the competitive advantage they seek."