Saved from Nonprofit Nightmares

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
nonprofitnightmares.jpg


Working in the nonprofit sector often feels like steering a boat that's sprung a leak. Budgets are tight.  Government grants are constantly shrinking. Donations may not have picked back up after the economic downturn. Stop bailing out water.

Melissa Data offers solutions to reach prospective donors, like our targeted donor, occupant/resident, and saturation mailing lists, and more.  Access a vast consumer database to see people with active community involvement paired to the niche you serve. There are people out there hungry to take up your cause.

How much mail is returned after a fundraising invitation? What about the community, do you find yourself calling upon local volunteers using numbers that are out of service and emails that are undeliverable?

You may not have the time or the staff to go through contact data one by one. You need our point-of-entry global address verification solutions that clean your donor or alumni database of inaccurate, incomplete, or undeliverable addresses in real-time. It also catches data errors as they occur. Plus, with our change-of-address solutions, when donors move, you can update and verify their address to maintain contact.

End the struggle of endless duplication. Have you ever received three new donors from one family after a single event? There's no need to send them triplicate documents. With our deduplication solution, every repeated record is eliminated. This cuts down on the cost of printed materials as well as postage.

Push #GivingTuesday harder, broadcast your participation in your community's local GiveBig event, and find new, loyal philanthropists in your community waiting to meet you. Get our Social Media Append Service, Melissa Data's answer to improved grassroots campaigning via Facebook, Twitter, and eighteen other social networks. With the service, you can enrich your contact data with social contact information from 20 different social networks. So instead of just having a contact's name, phone, and email address, you can better personalize your outreach efforts by adding social media information to your contact info.

Improve your fundraising efforts now with Melissa Data. Find out how by visiting our website


Contact Data Requests Increase up to 1400 Percent; Global Server Strategy Ensures Responsive, Compliant In-Country Processing



Rancho Santa Margarita, CALIF - July 12, 2016 - Melissa Data, a leading provider of global contact data quality solutions, today announced global server locations designed to ensure a robust growth infrastructure for expanding cloud-based data quality services.  Consistently outpacing its 2015 cloud-based business activity, Melissa Data anticipates a 165% increase in verification requests for Australia, 200% for China, and as high as 1400% for Germany. Melissa Data's domestic cloud-based services are also anticipated to grow by 100% in contrast to 2015. 


"Global reach with local support is the foundation of Melissa Data's growth strategy and enterprise business operations - we're working to meet the needs of each in-country user. Our customers not only capitalize on processing speeds inherent with local server calls, but also meet stringent compliance requirements for in-country data processing," said Bud Walker, vice president enterprise sales and strategy, Melissa Data. "As the global marketplace continues its shift to data quality as a service, we have protocols in place to support a significant upswell in data requests worldwide."


Melissa Data's dedicated resources protect effective, real-time data quality processing with efficiency, uptime, and failover protection. Local servers also meet the broadest range of in-country compliance requirements, which bind international data quality users and their vendors to maintain customer data handling without crossing borders. 


In-country processing requirements are growing rapidly in European markets and are well supported by Melissa Data's facilities in Canada, France, Germany, and Ireland; Asia Pacific clients are supported with local data facilities in Australia. The firm's U.S. server farm is shared between Richmond, Virginia, and now both Irvine and Rancho Santa Margarita, California, ensuring ideal uptime and load balancing for domestic enterprise users.


Demonstrating its focus on in-country processing and compliance, Melissa Data is one of only a handful of vendors licensed by Canada Post® to provide Canadian NCOA (National Change-of-Address) processing, matching data against 10+ million change-of-address records filed by Canadian households and businesses within the last 72 months. The company is also certified in Service Organization Controls (SOC 2), further assuring international enterprise users that data is handled with security, privacy, and integrity at every point along the spectrum of data quality operations. Click here for more insight on Melissa Data's global operations and technical capabilities, or call 1-800-MELISSA.


blog-sm-append.png

Even with a large client list, it's easy to feel cut off from the people you want to reach. Melissa Data has the tools to help you better connect with your customers, supporters, and prospects. Keep your marketing agile. Engage across multiple channels and improve your connections. Enter Melissa Data's Social Media Append service!

The service allows you to add social contact information from 20 different social networks to an individual's email address. Personalize your communications to encourage sharing and purchases, and build meaningful customer relationships by learning more about a person's affiliations, chat handles, and other details. Our Social Media Append service gives you a more complete snapshot of who your contacts are.

Take this step to reinvigorate existing customer loyalty, increase brand awareness, lead generation, and ROI. Plus, find what appeals to customers faster. Then, craft your message to fit right in. Don't put a message in a bottle-connect with people who are engaged and listening. Melissa Data's Social Media Append service brings a more tuned-in customer community. Don't be a stranger, become a part of their conversation.

To learn more about our Social Media Service, visit our website


blog-dqt-growth.png

Data Quality is key for effective business growth. The way that data quality is achieved is through data quality tools and techniques that will improve business value. Here are five key aspects to data quality management:

-Data Cleansing

-Address Data Quality

-Address Standardization

-Data Enhancement

-Record Linkage and Matching

First up is data cleansing. Data cleansing combines the definition of business rules in concert with software designed to execute those rules. The approach taken here is to integrate rules into a data cleansing rules engine, and then present strings to be corrected through the engine. In some cases, a little bit more control is needed in order to effectively transform and correctly correct the data.

Next up is addressing quality. This involves reviewing a lot of the existing documentation that has been collected from a number of different operational systems, as well as reviewing the business processes to see where location data is either created, modified, or read.

Thirdly, we have address standardization. In the US, an address contains a street name and number, as well as a city, state, and postal code. The refinement can begin with the state, then resolve down to the city, state, and a postal code.

Then there is data enhancement. Due to most business applications being designed to serve a specific purpose, the amount of data either collected or created is typically just enough to get the specific job done. That causes the "degree of utility" to be limited to that single business application. Data sets can be enhances and there are numerous ways for that to happen. However, a challenge that tends to emerge is that the data collected is not sufficient quality for secondary uses. Luckily, this can easily be addressed through the process of adding information to data sets to improve its potential utility, known as data enhancements.

Lastly, we have record linkage and matching. Electronic footprints are really broad due to the growth of online interactions. There are many distributed sources of information about customers, and each individual piece of collected data holds a little bit of value. When these distributed pieces of data are merged together, they can be used to reconstruct an incredibly insightful profile of the customer.

If you are interested in learning more about how using data quality tools and techniques can improve your business value click here to read the full whitepaper.

By Natalia Crawford

Global Address Integration for SSIS

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
blog-global-ssis.png

As a growing business, it is inevitable that you will come across the need to internationalize yourself as you begin to encounter data for clients outside of the United States. The data quality of address information is key in terms of removing duplicates, saving on postal, shipping and product costs, as well as being able to perform effective business intelligence. Melissa Data's Global Verify Component for use in Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services can help you perform global address data quality. Keep reading to find out how.

Address data differs worldwide, which means that you can't force international addresses into U.S. address formats. One way to approach this would be to customize the way your input forms are laid out while making the input easy and quick for the user. This can increase the effectiveness of the data you collect.

When you install Global Verify Component into your SSIS server, you will be able to apply data quality to international addresses. From there, you will map the input in the component based on the fields you have.  When it comes to output, there are three types of outputs designs. After selecting one, you input the column name. You also have the option to customize the output. One of the most important options provided Is the Output Script. That is where you can specify what language/character set you want the output to be. Then you have the Pass-through columns. These simply allow you to pass through from your input source any data you want to keep unchanged. Melissa Data alerts you with results codes. Result codes alert you to the status an errors for a record. Lasty, there are output filters. These allow you to ouput into different streams based on a number of customizable conditions. With these outputs, you can direct different types of verification to different destinations and handle them accordingly.

Melissa Data's Global Verify Component makes cleaning and validating your international addresses in SSIS simple and effective. Click here to read the full whitepaper on Using Melissa Data's Global Verify Component in SSIS or click here to download a FREE trial of Global Verify Component.



By Natalia Crawford

The Ultimate Guide for Data Stewards

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Screen shot 2016-05-05 at 11.06.35 AM.png

The first and foundational key when it comes to being a successful data steward is understanding data quality.  Data quality is most commonly defined as having five dimensions: completeness, data conforming to the appropriate standards, internal consistency, accuracy, and a time stamp to verify the period within which the data is valid. Along with incoming information you can guarantee that you will have mistakes. It is inevitable that bad data will get into your systems. That is why it is important to put your CRM through data cleansing. Data cleansing involves analyzing the data to find mistakes, re-engineering and validating new metadata with rules to address the errors, transforming the data, and then reloading the data into the database.

One of the key takeaways when it comes to data quality is not to view it as a series of problems but rather as a process that needs to be managed.

Another element to understand as a data steward is that of data being "correct" but not "right". Human error plays a big part in this. There can be errors when it comes to transmitting data as well as processing errors. Even software errors happen more frequently than you'd think.

Two critical components that also play a role in data quality are validation and verification. While they are similar, they are not the same. Validation refers to the data that adheres to a certain specified and expected format. For example, a zip code having either five digits or a ZIP+4 code having 9 digits. Verification is comparing the data in your database to a standard. For example, requiring someone to enter their password twice when they sign-up for something.

There are many more components and elements when it comes to being a successful data steward. Those mentioned above are just a few taken from Melissa Data's "Ultimate Guide for Data Stewards". If you would like to read the full version of the guide, click here to download it and learn more about data quality.




By Natalia Crawford

The 7 C's of Data Quality

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
blog-7Cs.png


Data quality is really important. Why? Because it helps you save money while increasing profits all due to having accurate contact data. It's important to understand what data quality is and why it is important. To explain data quality well, let's look at the 7 C's:

1. Certified Accuracy

2. Confidence

3. Cost-Savings

4.Campaign Intelligence

5. Consolidated

6. Completed

7. Compliant

These are the building blocks of data quality and provide you with a quick reference to assess your contact data.

First up is certified accuracy. Did you know that the average U.S. company spends $180,000 a year on mail that never reaches the recipient? Do you know the percentage of your addresses that are deliverable? There is a way for you to know that the addresses in your database are correct. With a solution, such as CASS Certified, you can validate, correct and standardize contact address data.

Next up is confidence. We are specifically talking about E-Confidence with this "C". Identity theft costs an average of $5,000 per incident resulting in nearly 48 billion dollars a year. Are you confident in who your customer says they are? Avoid fraud by using a point-of-entry data verification solution to know the contact really is who they say they are.

Thirdly, we have cost savings. 25% of bad data is due to data-entry errors causing U.S. businesses to lose $600 billion a year. Bad data should and can be stopped before it enters your database. Employ a data quality firewall at the point-of-entry to immediately verify the accuracy of information.

Campaign intelligence is next up in the 7 C's. With a geocoding solution you can get a more accurate view of your customers. Geocoding assigns precise latitude and longitude coordinates to the addresses in your database. This allows you to see where your customer lives and works in order to define and analyze the needs of your target population.

The next "c" is consolidated. Did you know that up to 8-10% of records in a database are duplicates? Every business should aim to get rid of duplicates and replace them with a golden record. A golden record is the final step in record consolidation. Three common techniques that are used to create a golden record are most recent, most frequent and most complete.

Next up is completed. Completing the records in your database by appending additional information that is missing can increase your lead generation and revenue potential opportunities. Fill in missing emails, addresses, and more to ensure you obtain a complete record.

Lastly we have compliant. Maintaining quality data that complies with internal and external regulations can be tricky but it is essential. Poor data leads to poor decisions which undermine your customer relationships and credibility.

After reading through the 7 C's, how would you rate your business? Take the next step and upload your data for a complimentary data quality audit from professionals at Melissa Data. It's simple and quick. Visit www.melissadata.com/score for your free assesment.


By Natalia Crawford

blog-connecting-points.png


Maintaining the most complete and up-to date customer information available will help you stay competitive, cut costs, and drive growth. So, how do you go about doing this? Many would say to use contact data validation, however, we have found that, that is not enough. A more complete data verification process is needed for true data quality.

For example, you might be able to validate a customer's address, but having the ability to validate whether they truly live there or not, takes your data verification a step further. The same goes for phone numbers. Validating that they truly are linked with that customer can save you time and money on making that phone call.

With a tool like Melissa Data's Personator, you can determine whether or not a customer lives at the address as well as verify their phone number. Personator does this through using powerful matching and retrieval technologies to compare incoming records against proprietary set of multi-sourced reference data, including USPS data, telco data, title information, and other public and proprietary data.

Through this process, Personator has the ability to confirm that the name matches the address, and most importantly, determine that records accuracy and completeness. Personator also offers an append function which brings a record to its most complete form by filling in the gaps with verifiable street addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and associated demographics. This results in full contact data quality for your business.

A tool, like Personator, can help you achieve data quality through obtaining complete Data. Complete data provides you with ease of communicating with customers, ensuring delivery, and saving on unnecessary costs. To learn more about Melissa Data's Personator, click here.


By Natalia Crawford

Why Golden Records are Key to Solid Data Quality

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
blog-goldenrecord.png

Your company most likely receives information from various applications. This has made it so that maintaining clean and consolidated data is tricky; however it is more important than ever.

There are many costs associated when working with incomplete or incorrect information.  The solution to these headaches is data quality. Data quality is the process of identifying and correcting information.  It refers to reliability, completeness and accuracy of the information that is flowing through your systems. It mainly applies to addresses, emails and phone numbers. Having data quality gives you the ability work more effectively with your customers.

To take it a step further, data quality also encompasses something known as a Golden Record. A Golden Record is the art and science of selecting the "true" data and using it to correct incomplete or incorrect information. For example, you may have one record of a customer's recent purchase with an email and then a past record with that customer's information and a different email. Obtaining a Golden Record of that customer would mean having the most up-to-date and correct data on them, all in one single view.

Golden Records work based on a set of rules that you apply. You can use things such as filtering, using most recent data, etc. This gives you complete control over creating your Golden Records and establishing, validating, and applying rules all based on your own information.

Melissa Data offers a comprehensive set of capabilities for cleansing and deduplicating contact data. Here are just a few of them:

Global Verify: Standardize and parse addresses for 240+ countries

SmartMover: Update the addresses of individuals, families and businesses that have moved

Matchup: Consolidate duplicate records and automate Golden Record selection

Fuzzy Match: Identify data quality issues for immediate attention

These are just a few of the solutions Melissa Data has to offer to help you achieve Data Quality and obtain a Golden Record of customers. To learn more about Melissa Data's solutions, click here.



By Natalia Crawford

A Quick and Easy Way to Grow Your Email List

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

blog-email-mktg1.png


Email marketing is a key factor of every successful marketing strategy. It's direct, yields high response, and is trackable. A great way to expand email marketing is to add email addresses to your postal customer base. The good news is that there is a quick and affordable way to do that and expand your email list in order to directly engage your customers.

Using Email Append will do the following:

-Increase the value of your contact data

-Bolster customer participation and retention rates

-Reduce marketing communication expenses

-Maximize response rates

-Personalize communication

-Easily measure the impact of marketing campaigns

Here are a few tips on what email append is and how it works:

What is Email Append?

Email append is a process of adding email addresses to your postal customer database, which already contains names and postal delivery addresses. There are two types of email append: business and consumer. Business email append provides you with the email addresses of specific contacts at a company while consumer email append give you opt-in email addresses of residents.

How does Email Append work?

With business email append, your file is matched up against a profile of company email addresses. When a match is found, a letter is sent to that individual with the option to opt-out. Research shows that less than one-fourth of one percent choose to opt-out. This takes about 5-7 business days, the email is collected, and the file is returned to you to use for your campaign.

Consumer email append matches your file against various databases. When a match is found the email is added to your file. Then, a letter is emailed with the option to opt-out.

Subscribers voluntarily disclose their information and the enhanced file is returned to you. Email addresses appended are then successfully deliverable.

If you would like to learn more about how email append can help you obtain the email addresses of your customer's, click here for more information.


By Natalia Crawford