DevNetwork interviews Melissa Data's API

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DevNetwork is covering the top API technologies in the industry leading up to API World 2016, the nation's largest API conference.

In preparation for the API World 2016 Conference, here at DevNetwork we have Bud Walker, VP, Enterprise Sales & Strategy at Melissa Data, talking about their API.

What services do you currently enable developers to build on via your API's?

All of our products for Data Quality are made available as an API. We offer cloud-based, dedicated cloud, and on-premise APIs which allow developers to enable all aspects of Data Quality in their Enterprise.

Read the rest here!


Melissa Data: Your Friend in Brand Integrity

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Ross: Every week, the TV Guide comes to Chandler and Joey's 
apartment. What name appears on the address label?

Rachel: Oh! Chandler gets it! It's Chandler Bing!

Monica: No!

Ross: I'm afraid the TV Guide comes to "Chanandelor Bong."

Monica: I knew that! Rachel! Use your head!

Chandler: Actually, it's Miss Chanandelor Bong.

FRIENDS Season 4, Episode 12


Bad Contact Data isn't new - it has created pop culture. This episode of Friends is a highly amusing scene, but the joke is more than simply Rachel's lack of knowledge. When it comes to contact data, who's steering the ship?

Name? Absurd. Gender? Wrong.

Maintaining the most complete and up-to-date customer information is highly important. When marketing material is sent to the same household multiple times, to different individuals or names are misspelled, it doesn't just cost you in postage. It costs your brand.

Brand integrity may be defined as the consistent image that a brand presents to the public. From social marketing to direct mail, a brand must maintain a single voice and image in order to be taken seriously and to be successful. According to The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, if the gap between the projected image and the reality of the customer experience widens, customers smell hypocrisy.

Melissa Data can help you anchor your brand in the public eye with better, more accurate contact data. We have a number of solutions that are made to fit your data needs. For example, Personator is a solution to consider when devising ways to preserve your brand's integrity. Personator provides name-to-address verification and cross-referencing address, name, phone, and email to ensure all data corresponds to the same individual. Personator will also enrich your contacts by adding missing address, email, and phone information, and much more. See how it works.

Then, there's mailing and shipping. You want to make your customers happy to protect your brand. Accurately mailing packages is a good way to increase customer retention. SmartMover can help. SmartMover is a real-time, cloud-based service that allows you to update the addresses of U.S. and Canadian customers that have moved. Get the current addresses of old customers who may have relocated to get your mail delivered on time, and qualify for postal discounts.

These are only a few of the ways in which Melissa Data can help you maintain your brand. Our customers are very important to us, and we are dedicated to helping you preserve the reputation of your business. Learn more when you visit our website and discover the tools you need to cultivate the integrity of your brand. 


Persistent Address Key Uniquely Simplifies Data Updates to Changes Only,

Optimized for First Responders, Route Planning and Analytics


ancho Santa Margarita, CALIF - August 9, 2016 - Melissa Dataa leading provider of global contact data quality solutions, today announced its Master Address Table, an industry-first approach to validating, enhancing, and managing addresses in a given neighborhood or area. The Master Address Table contains current, detailed information on more than 180 million U.S. addresses, including residential, commercial, and more than two million non-USPS® addresses, or physical addresses that do not receive USPS delivery. In a critical advancement pioneered by Melissa Data, each address is assigned a Melissa Address Key™(MAK™), a unique, persistent key that never changes; this proprietary technology ensures efficient data updates, only required when addresses change or are added.

 

Melissa Data's Master Address Table provides a complete, real-time database of residential and business addresses within a specific area, offering a new advantage to first responders who can now quickly identify an address and ensure help reaches the correct location immediately. This technology benefits all data quality applications focused on activities other than mailing, such as optimizing route planning, resource allocation, analytics, utilities management, risk assessment, or nonprofit donor tracking.

 

"We recognized a need within certain areas of our customer base, as we saw data managers working with saturation lists to ensure valid address data for services such as emergency response, mapping, or analytics. Having all the valid addresses in a specific neighborhood differs dramatically from target marketing, and needed to be more accessible for these users," said Bud Walker, vice president enterprise sales and strategy, Melissa Data. "At the same time, updating this deep volume of data needed to be simplified and cost-effective. Our persistent address key breaks new ground on that front - it's another smart, sharp tool that dramatically reduces time and resources spent on data updates by only updating keys that are new or have changed."

 

The Melissa Address Key is akin to a barcode or ISBN number, identifying a discrete physical street address and aligning a multitude of additional information associated with each particular address. Users can access geographic information such as rooftop lat/long, census tract/block number, county name, and FIPS code, ideal for analytics, mapping, and logistics applications. Data can be searched based on specific parameters, for example, congressional district, school district, one or more ZIP™ codes, or regions such as cities, counties, or states.

 

A collection of addresses via the Melissa Data Master Address Table can be accessed as a one-time purchase including monthly updates for one year, or on a subscription basis with ongoing monthly updates. Click here for more insight on Melissa Data's Master Address Table capabilities, or call 1-800-MELISSA.

Saved from Nonprofit Nightmares

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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.


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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


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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. For more information, read our whitepaper

By Natalia Crawford

Global Address Integration for SSIS

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Is your business growing internationally? It's inevitable that you will encounter data quality problems complicated by the shipping needs of clients outside the United States. The data quality of address information, here, is key to that success. Remove duplicates, save on postal, shipping and product costs, and find the ability to perform effective business intelligence. Melissa Data's Global Verify Component for use in Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services can help you reach global address data quality. 

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 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; which alert you to the status and errors of each record. There are also output filters. These allow output flow 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. Read our whitepaper: Global Address Data Integration in SSIS or download a free trial of Global Verify Component. 


By Natalia Crawford


The Ultimate Guide for Data Stewards

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The first key of successful data stewardship 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.

When information is incoming, you're bound to have mistakes. It's inevitable that bad data will get in your system That's why it's important to put your CRM through data cleansing. 

Data cleansing involves analyzing data to find mistakes, re-engineering and validating new metadata with rules to address 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--much like cleaning house. Watch our video to understand the data quality lifecycle better. 

Two critical components that also play a role in data quality are validation and verification. While they're similar, they're not identical. Validation refers to the data that adheres to a certain specified and expected format. For example, a zip code has either five digits or a ZIP+4 has 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 to make sure it was typed in correctly.

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.

The 7 C's of Data Quality

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

1. Certified Accuracy

2. Confidence

3. Cost-Savings

4.Campaign Intelligence

5. Consolidated

6. Complete

7. Compliant

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

Certified Accuracy: Did you know that the average U.S. company spends $180,000 a year on mail that never reaches the recipient? How deliverable is your address data? There is a way for you to know for certain. With a solution, such as CASS Certified, you can validate, correct and standardize contact address data.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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

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 fast and easy. Visit MelissaData.com/Score for your free assessment.


By Natalia Crawford