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When MDM consolidation is too successful

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GDPR compliance should mean revisiting--and cleansing--your data files

Want to know the main reason you're liable to run afoul of the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation? Because your Master Data Management view of data across applications and analytics may have been just a little too successful.

 

Companies that have been extra diligent in that good old "360-degree view of the customer" have a master file chock-full of customer information, all of which is consolidated, but much of which is out of date and duplicated across systems.

 

And that means your MDM processes are probably filled with rule-busting red flags, courtesy of the new GDPR regulations.

 

Let's unpack this a bit, examine the key regulatory changes, and see where you're probably at risk.

 

The EU's GDPR, which becomes effective May 25, addresses consumer concerns about safeguarding digital information, regardless of where in the world it's stored, and erasing it when requested. If you've ever done business with people in any EU country, their information is in your CRM system, marketing automation, or master customer information file.

 

SO MANY DATA FIELDS, SO LITTLE TIME

 

What data are we talking about here? Just about anything, which pretty much summarizes your potential problem.

 

Newly protected data not only includes name, address, email, and phone, but also photos, bank details, social networking posts, and individual computer IP addresses. CRM and marketing automation systems normally include birthdays, payment methods, URL visits, and shopping habits, regardless of whether the information is about a person's private, professional, or public life, and those are GDPR-protected as well.

 

Running afoul of the GDPR is no small matter. It can result in fines of up to 20 million euros--roughly $24.5 million--or alternately 4 percent of a company's entire annual global revenue.

 

On the upside, the Euro folks are more serious than ever about their citizens' data and privacy.

 

On the downside, trying to identify your organization's relevant exposure can become an intolerable burden.

 

While the complete GDPR is extensive, a key element is Article 17, detailing consumers' "Right to Erasure." GDPR requires you to erase any EU citizen information upon request "without undue delay," and with only a handful of exceptions.

 

Surveys indicate that this Right to Erasure is the most challenging requirement for businesses. And this is where your Master Data Management projects are most vulnerable.

 

The problem is that data management processes that supposedly have merged siloed files across applications are geared toward inclusion, not efficiency.

 

It's likely you've got tons of duplications--numerous iterations of the same person, each containing slightly different fields, conflicting data, and even errors from one entry to another. Small wonder: Data entries are made individually over years and via different processes.

 

Even if entries are flagged, typical MDM false negative results mean truly duplicated records will remain behind, and uncorrected. After all, nobody wants to run the risk of erasing a unique and valid contact.

 

NIGHTMARE ON MDM STREET

 

Consider: You receive a request to have an individual's data erased, you think you've  complied, but in reality have overlooked iterations across applications that are of the exact same contact.

 

The result: A regulatory nightmare and a potential financial disaster.

 

What's a chief data officer to do?

 

First, start with an internal audit conducted by Melissa, one that goes far beyond any Privacy Impact Assessment process you may already have in place. A thorough top-down approach will uncover problems and trends, determine your true risk, and provide recommendations for redress.

 

But you'll want to go further.

 

Melissa technology tackles databases to standardize, correct, complete, and verify customer records. If there are any remaining identify questions about who's who in your database, and if any duplications continue to exist, Melissa employs matching engines to resolve them.

 

You've done your best to assure that 360-degree view of the customer through optimal MDM processes, and congratulations to you. Now, take the next step to protect your company from regulatory snafus.

 

To ensure you're compliant with the new GDPR regulations, call Melissa.

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By Edward Dombrowski Data Quality Analyst


Maybe you're already familiar with the way Express Entry and Express Entry Desktop Edition can autocomplete addresses - just select the country and type in the beginning of an address, and the service can fill in the missing information, using address data from over 240 countries.

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But did you know the many benefits to autocompleting addresses? Increased efficiency, a single view of the customer at the point-of-entry, and increased security, to name a few.

With Express Entry Desktop Edition, you can easily enter complete addresses with 50 percent less keystrokes, with the bonus (since it uses the Express Entry service) that the addresses are already verified.

When you receive a complete address from the service, you can also geocode it easily with the click of the 'verify' button. Also, Express Entry Desktop Edition's system of templates gives you the flexibility you need to efficiently fill out any form in Windows or on the Web without having to code a solution.

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Another benefit to using Express Entry is the single view of the customer at the point-of-entry. This way, duplication in your database is controlled from the start. Express Entry's standardized addresses are consistent as they have pre-directionals, ordinals, suffixes, and post-directionals already abbreviated throughout.

Standardized addresses mean that you won't have to deduplicate customer tables by address. There are no addresses in Express Entry data that do not conform to the standard.

There may be one benefit you haven't thought of: fraud prevention. When a user selects a verified and standardized address on your form, or your Customer Service Representative enters an address through Express Entry Desktop's GUI, your confidence that the customer is who they say they are is increased. It becomes easier to separate real addresses from the fake ones.

Express Entry data is built from multiple sources so you can rest assured that address data is correct. If your Customer Service Center takes in addresses, Express Entry Desktop Edition can help your Customer Service Representatives enter them in more quickly.

For more info on Express Entry, go to: http://www.melissa.com/contact-data-verification/global-address-autocompletion.html

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By Oscar Li, Data Quality Sales Engineer/Channel Manager for Global Email


Melissa recently introduced several improvements and new features to its Global Email Verification Solution - an all-in-one real-time email mailbox validation and correction service. Here's a quick list of our latest improvements:

  • Improved fuzzy matching of domain corrections
  • Updated our TLD database with the newest ICANN info
  • Increased control over the freshness of data returned
  • Better unknown status detection capability

In terms of the service's new features, Global Email now offers two validation modes: Express and Premium.

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Express can be used in time-sensitive situations and will give back a response in one or two seconds. Premium will actually perform a real-time validation of the email address and can take up to 12 seconds to receive a response back.

If you want to reduce the time taken in premium mode, we offer an advanced email option which will reduce the freshness of the data return in order to increase speed.

Using the Global Email Verification Solution to Protect & Increase Your Email Reputation Score

What does email reputation mean? A big part of a marketer's campaign is email marketing campaigns. It is important to watch your email reputation with a tool such as senderscore. Once you are blacklisted, your email deliverability will suffer, and as a result, you will have trouble sending out emails in the future as most mail servers subscribe to a spammers list.

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Integrators should consult with our data quality experts in order to understand what they need to look out for to avoid a bad campaign, and why certain emails should be flagged/inspected. Even if you avoid spam traps, sending out too many invalid emails will cause the mail server to flag you as a potential spammer. Email marketing campaign servers with a low email reputation score will typically experience aggressive filtering.

On the other hand, maintaining a high reputation score will see less intrusive filtering only applied to individual emails and email campaigns instead of blanket IP addresses. It would be definitely prudent to not allow other users to influence your email reputation.

For example, if you are on a shared server - other companies/users could be sending out their own campaigns without filtering emails through our service. It would be a waste if you spent all the time and investment controlling your email campaigns and another user is email blasting without mailbox validation causing the entire IP to be affected.

How do I improve my email reputation score?

If your reputation scores are already dismal for your current existing email campaign server IPs, it might be beneficial to do email campaigns on a new or more reputable IP to see better return on investment. This would start your email reputation on a clean slate. As a disclaimer, we are not sure how feasible this would be for everybody, but your team will need to discuss internally.

However, using our service on existing IP should raise the reputation score for that specific IP. On IPs with pre-existing high volume campaign history, the scores will be slow to change. You can now see why it is extremely prudent to invest in an email validation system early on and why Global Email is a valuable tool to utilize.

For more info, go to: http://www.melissa.com/contact-data-verification/global-email.html


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