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Hindsight is, as we know, 20/20.  But, what if, when it came to natural hazards and their impact on your portfolio, you didn't have to rely on hindsight?  What if, you could understand your risks and exposures before an event occurred and write and plan appropriately?  Wouldn't that be better than hoping and praying that nothing bad happened?

 

Of course it would.  And we all know that bad things still happen no matter how much hoping and praying goes on.  That said, how many companies truly use hazard data in their everyday processes?  Sadly, very few.  For a large number of insurers either cost or technology or both keeps them from making use of some of the most effective data for pricing a policy, validating claims, and knowing your true exposure.

 

This probably isn't news that extensive property level data can enable a great level of risk awareness and location intelligence which in turn reduces risk for insurers while improving customer communications and service.  But what is news is that this risk information is now more available and easily accessible than ever before, enabling more insurers to take advantage of it.

 

When geospatial data first arrived it was primarily used by the big insurers who could afford to have a geographic information systems (GIS) team to develop or purchase the information, integrate the information, build decision models and monitor usage.  But thanks to technologies companies can now get a hazard answer for just about any hazard easily through Data as a Service (DaaS).

 

With DaaS you get answers to the hazard questions you have, when you have them.  For example, at time of quote: What is this policy exposed to?  How far is it from a fire station?  What's the distance to coast?  What rating territory or premium tax area is it in?  Knowing this information at the time of quote saves the embarrassment of an initial rate quote moving dramatically upwards if this information is only used at time of binding. 

 

Do you understand the hazards your portfolio is truly exposed to?  For example, knowing if properties are in a flood, surge, fire or earthquake zone can support a detailed plan for prospects your business can reach.  You may not insure for flood or earthquake, but knowing the risk exposure to those hazards and your ability to educate your prospective customer on them can separate you from your competitors.  While this has always been the case for the use of hazard data, the difference today is that hazard data is now a real-time asset, helping insurers make internal risk assessments as part of policy services.

 

Hazard information also allows you to better educate your customers.  Most customers do not know what hazards their property, personal or commercial, is exposed to.  A neatly formatted on-line report provided by your company using hazard data can help your customers better mitigate for risk.  As an example: This address in New Smyrna Beach, FL.


Flood Risk

Covered by FEMA digital maps. Minimal Risk of Flooding                            B

Fire Protection Class

Unprotected                                                                                                  D

Wildfire Risk

Very High                                                                                                       F

Drought Risk

Abnormally Dry - Increases the risk of wildfire at this location                     C

Earthquake Damage Risk

No Damage                                                                                                   A

Hurricane Damage

High Property Damage                                                                                 D

Superfund Site Risk

> 2,500 Feet from Known Superfund Site                                                     A

Brownfield Site Risk

> 500 Feet from Known Brownfield Site                                                       A

Florida Sinkhole Risk

Limited Sinkhole Risk                                                                                    B

Straight Line Wind Risk

Very High                                                                                                      D

2" Hail Risk

Very High                                                                                                      D

Tornado Risk

High                                                                                                              C

Lightning Risk

Very High                                                                                                      D

Special Wind Regions

NOAA Hurricane Prone Wind Region: Risk varies with location                   C

Florida Wind Born Debris Zone

130 MPH Wind Speed Zone                                                                          F

Thunderstorms

Very High                                                                                                      D


In looking at this property an insurer can instantly tell that there will be insurability issues.  If this property were already a part of your book of business there are any number of steps you would want to encourage this policyholder to take.  Unprotected for fire - fire extinguishers.  High risk of wildfire - mitigation steps.  Wind borne debris - shutters.  Impacts of convective storms and hurricanes - roof ties, mitigation information, lightning rods.  On the plus side there's no storm surge risk and minimal risk from flood.  Knowing that it's unlikely that there will be a water claim.

By accessing geographic risk-sets in real-time, natural hazard data such as wind, fire, water, or earthquake risk can be easily associated with specific properties.  Ideally, this is coupled with property and mortgage data enhancements, as well as location intelligence toolsets, such as address verification, geocoding and reverse geocoding, and IP location.  Based on multi-sourced datasets, insurers have real-time access to hundreds of different metrics on individual residential or commercial properties.  Hazard data scores are based on information from sources such as FEMA, NOAA, USGS, and state and local governments, and include risk of flooding, wildfire, lightning strikes, straight-line winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more.  It's a higher level of insight for insurance professionals, making decisions based on end-to-end property intelligence supported by precise risk scores made easier through hazard DaaS.

 

 

 

Previously, Melissa has offered our Global Address web service in Contact Zone and Pentaho as a tool used to validate addresses in 240+ countries and territories. Because this product was only available as a web service in Contact Zone and Pentaho, there were certain limitations that had come with this method of consuming this service. These issues are now solved through the use of our on premise object.

Now, companies that could not have any data leave their premises can utilize our Global Address on premise object to validate their international addresses, as no data will be sent to our servers. In addition, if throughput is a large issue with our Global Address web service, then the on premise object can vastly improve record throughput, as the limitations would now be determined by the performance of the machine that the tool is being used on. Companies that also utilize our tool for a vast number of records or tend to run address records through our service repeatedly can now utilize our tool without being mindful of the record volume, as usage for our on premise object is not based upon record volume.

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Processing through the web service is still available in this new release. Licenses will be determined by an on country basis. In other words, clients can purchase the countries that they think will be used most often and defer to our web service for the remaining countries.

If you are interested in more information regarding our new release in Contact Zone and Pentaho or would like a free trial, please visit our website here: http://www.melissa.com/data-integration/contact-zone.html

Melissa's Improvements in Dynamics CRM

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Dirty data, in all forms, is bad for business. Here at Melissa, our primary concern is cleansing it from all of your platforms, including Microsoft Dynamics® CRM. Melissa currently offers many solutions for Dynamics CRM in order to combat problems with bad data.

 

We offer the Personator® solution in order to cleanse and enrich your U.S. and Canadian data. We offer the Global Verify solution to correct and verify your addresses, phone numbers, names, and email addresses on an international level. Soon, we will release the Express Entry® solution in order to prevent bad data from entering your environment. As we strive to offer you the best solutions, Melissa constantly seeks to improve its solutions to better suit your needs.

 

Coming in a future update, we will offer the following new features to our Express Entry service:


•          Personator Workflows

•          Reverse Lookup for Express Entry

•          Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Personator Workflows

Dynamics CRM is utilized in many different ways in the business world. The creation of contact, account, and lead records is handled through many different environments that may not leverage the standard form. In addition, sometimes users may forget to use our services to cleanse and correct information before saving and storing a record. 


To address these issues, we have created workflows for the Personator solution for the currently supported out-of-box entities. These workflows can be activated to leverage our Personator service on records automatically, such as upon creation of a new record. This will allow users to create records from a different environment, such as a separate portal, to have their information automatically validated through our workflows.

 

Reverse Lookups for Express Entry

Different users enter address information in different orders. With Dynamics CRM's ability to customize forms, it is apparent that not everyone will start by entering a street address. With our new feature, Reverse Lookups, users can enter information starting from the most general piece of information down to the most specific. For example, now a user, after entering his or her default country, can begin by entering the postal code to determine the city and state of the particular record. After filling out these fields, the user can then enter in the street address and select from a list of addresses only in that particular city, state, and postal code.

 

Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Many customers require different methods of verification. In order to address these concerns, we have integrated our Express Entry service into our Global Verify solution. Now, you can utilize the Express Entry service to autocomplete addresses when entering data as well as verify phone and email with the click of a button.

Get in the Contact Zone

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If you're looking for that perfect all-in-one solution that combines the power of easy integration and Melissa's full spectrum of data quality solutions, then you need to get in the Zone - The Contact Zone®.

Contact Zone employs all the customer data management tools you'll need to help provide consistent, trusted, accurate data across the enterprise - all in one single platform for effortless integration. 

Plus, it's powered by Pentaho® Data Integration (PDI), which gives Contact Zone a simple, graphical user interface, dynamic templates, administrative features, and so much more. Collect data from any source, cleanse and transform it, and gain immediate insight for meaningful use.


Record Matching Made Easy with MatchUp Web Service

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MatchUp®, Melissa's solution to identify and eliminate duplicate records, is now available as a web service for batch processes, fulfilling one of most frequent requests from our customers - accurate database matching without maintaining and linking to libraries, or shelling out to the necessary locally-hosted data files.


Now you can integrate MatchUp into any aspect of your network that can communicate with our secure servers using common protocols like XML, JSON, REST or SOAP.

 

Select a predefined matching strategy, map the table input columns necessary to identify matches to the respective request elements, and submit the records for processing. Duplicate rows can be identified by a combination of NAME, ADDRESS, COMPANY, PHONE and/or EMAIL.

 

Our select list of matching strategies removes the complexity of configuring rules, while still applying our fast and versatile fuzzy matching algorithms and extensive datatype-specific knowledge base, ensuring the tough-to-identify duplicates will be flagged by MatchUp. 


The output response returned by the service can be used to update a database or create a unique marketing list by evaluating each record's result codes, group identifier and group count, and using the record's unique identifier to link back the original database record.

 

Since Melissa's servers do the processing, there are no key files - the temporary sorting files - to manage, freeing up valuable hardware resources on your local server.

 

Customers can access the MatchUp Web Service license by obtaining a valid license from our sales team and selecting the endpoint compatible to your development platform and necessary request structures here.

Fintech breakthroughs that identify,validate and augment customer data help financial services organizations head off fraud, operate within the rules


One of the most pressing issues facing the financial services industry today is the prevailing emphasis on security and fraud prevention. Big data and analytics are leveraging the power of the Internet, but also offering big, juicy plums for hackers, credit card fraudsters, money launderers and terrorists.

 

In response, many countries including the U.S. have established Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, intended to guide financial institutions in heading off fraudulent transactions. A key way for banks to do this is to clearly Identify legitimate banking clients and their business relationships so the bad operators become more obvious and identifiable.

 

But it can be a challenge. Legitimate customers often have multiple banking relationships with a single institution, with identifying information stored in different formats in a multitude of databases. Various family members also may be account owners, but have different names and live at different addresses, possibly even in different countries.

 

Linking all these threads together while at the same time correcting name misspellings, standardizing mailing address formats, and parsing precise geolocation IDs can be the stuff of banking compliance nightmares.

 

Not doing this due diligence, however, can be catastrophic. To be hacked and have millions syphoned out of your customers' accounts is one thing, but to have the government ready and willing to fine you for failing various KYC tests can be just as damaging. Can you say "Loss of reputation and customers?"  

 

A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM


Most notably non-compliant of late have been banks based or doing business in India, but it's a worldwide problem. A New York-based broker-dealer recently was charged with KYC violations and for negligently allowing illegal trading by one of its customers. Perhaps the highest profile case most recently was Morgan Stanley Smith Barney running afoul of a variety of KYC violations. The main charge: Morgan Stanley failed to properly identify an assortment of "red flags" that signaled illegal activity.

 

Thankfully, technological breakthroughs increasingly are offering their own solutions. Just as the digital world has enabled bad players and victimized banks worldwide, technology is fighting back with sophisticated Know Your Customer tools.

 

A big step forward is the ability to accurately verify names and addresses. In a global world without borders, technology that verifies, cleans, completes and standardizes names, addresses, phone numbers and emails, and does so globally, immensely aids the process of knowing one's customers.

 

Technologies also exist that adds in missing contact fields, finds census and area-specific statistical details, and provides precise demographic information. When banks are able to combine census and area-specific details with accurate names and addresses, they'll know pretty closely if a variant player is really a customer or a bad guy.

 

KYC guidelines are very specific about risky areas prone to scams and schemes. A wide variety of countries are identified by the U.S. State Department for being prone to ignoring money laundering, tolerating suspicious transactions, and generally lacking adequate know-your-customer requirements. Ignoring this, in fact, was one of the issues that burned Morgan Stanley, permitting criminal activities to continue unchecked.

 

While IP lookup that identifies exactly where a digital communication has come from has been around for a while, new geocoding breakthroughs are able to convert IP addresses into precise latitude and longitude coordinates around the world. Most European and international identify cards also can be verified, along with mobile phone numbers and driver's license information.

 

One of the essential elements in all this is updating customer data. It's been estimated that accurate contact information deteriorates severely and regularly, and good customers who merely move across town can confuse inadequate screening processes and raise red flags (false positives) when it shouldn't. Today there are a variety of modules banks can use to update customer information quickly and accurately.

 

The bottom line is this: Financial services institutions now have lots of new reasons to love fintech technology that mitigates KYC concerns by identifying legitimate customers, and flagging the ne'er-do-wells before they can be effective.




Meet Melissa: Global Intelligence

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Melissa Data is officially now Melissa.

 

As we welcome our 32nd year in business, we are excited to announce an important change at Melissa Data. We've decided to drop the "Data" from our brand identity. We are simply Melissa now. This is part of a new branding effort to reflect Melissa's growth, and more importantly, the changes in the data quality space. While authoritative data sources power our products and services, we want to continue developing new solutions that deliver data-driven results for better business intelligence.

 

This forward thinking change is reflected in our new logo with the design emphasis on the "i" for intelligence. You will see this focus on intelligence in our new ID verification services, our industry-specific solutions to help with Know Your Customer initiatives, risk management and compliance, and in our robust customer data management and data integrations platforms.

And, you'll see it in our new website at www.melissa.com. 


Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about Melissa's services and solutions. Immediately, you will notice streamlined menus, simple navigation, and quick access to the information you need.

 

We look forward to working together with all of our existing customers on more opportunities and better solutions for global intelligence. Please feel free to reach out and let us know how we can better assist you.

Better Marketing Starts with Better Data

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Improve Data Quality for More Accurate Analysis with Alteryx and Melissa

 

Organizations are under more pressure than ever to gain accurate contact data for their customers. When your consumer base ranges from Los Angeles to Tokyo, it can be challenging. Poor data quality has a critical impact on both the financial stability as well as the operations of a business. Verifying and maintaining vast quantities of accurate contact data is often inefficient and falls short of the mark. According to IBM, the yearly cost of poor data quality is estimated at 3.1 trillion in the U.S. alone.

 

Melissa's Global Address Verification and Predictive Analysis for Alteryx are the tools your business needs to grow. Download this whitepaper to find out how to achieve marketing success, while reducing the cost of doing business overall.

 

Learn how to:

  • ·         Better understand and utilize your big data for marketing success
  • ·         Build better relationships with customers with clean data
  • ·         Target the customers most likely to buy
  • ·         Cut down on undeliverable mail and save on costs

 

Download free whitepaper now:

http://www.melissa.com/resources/whitepapers/alteryx-better-marketing-data.html

 

How to Do It All with Melissa

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With Melissa, you can do it all - see for yourself with the brand new Solutions Catalog. This catalog showcases products to transform your people data (names, addresses, emails, phone numbers) into accurate, actionable insight. Our products are in the Cloud or available via easy plugins and APIs. We provide solutions to power Know Your Customer initiatives, improve mail deliverability and response, drive sales, clean and match data, and boost ROI.

 

Specific solutions include:

·         Cleaning, matching & enriching data
·         Creating a 360 degree profile of every customer
·         Finding more customers like your best ones with lookalike profiling
·         Integrating data from any source, at any time

Other highlights include: global address autocompletion; mobile phone verification; real-time email address ping; a new customer management platform; as well as info on a wealth of data append and mailing list services.

 

Download the catalog now:

http://www.melissa.com/catalogs/solutions/index.html

 

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


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