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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the customer" have a master file chock-full of customer information, all of which is consolidated, but much of which is out of date and duplicated across systems.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 Kevin Ubay-Ubay, Sales Engineer


Personator World is Melissa's new powerful cloud based web service that gives a simple and single way to clean and verify your contact data globally. This service leverages our experience in name, phone, address & email validation to provide comprehensive contact checking and combines high quality identity level verification.

Some examples of where our new web service can be applied:

·         Age verification

·         Name-address verification

·         Anti-fraud applications

·         Online shopping cart & eCommerce platforms

·         FinTech/Banking

Trusted Reference Data

Personator World uses a number of trusted reference data to verify the identity of an individual. These types of data sources include:

·         Citizen/national databases

·         Credit agency/bureau

·         Utility and telecom sources

·         Driver's licenses

·         Electoral rolls

Personator World can then determine if the identity has been found and matched against those datasources. An example JSON response from the web service may contain something like this:

{

    "DatasourceName": "CREDIT-2",

    "Results": "KV03,KV04",

    "Messages": [

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV03",

            "Description": "First/given/forename matched"

        },

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV04",

            "Description": "Last/surname matched"

        }

    ]

},

{

    "DatasourceName": "CONSUMER-1",

    "Results": "KV01,KV14,KV13,KV12,KV10",

    "Messages": [

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV01",

            "Description": "Address matched"

        },

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV14",

            "Description": "Premise/house number matched"

        },

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV13",

            "Description": "Thoroughfare matched"

        },

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV12",

            "Description": "Locality matched"

        },

        {

            "ResultCode": "KV10",

            "Description": "Postal code matched"

        }

    ]

}


As you can see here, datasources where a match has been found are listed as well as what components of the input had been matched.

Using Personator World

To give a walkthrough of this service, when you send your contact data that you want checked and verified, Personator World starts off by standardizing and validating your data. At this stage, the service will parse and standardize your data as well as check for the following:

·         Name is in a valid format

·         Address is deliverable

·         Email address exists

·         Phone number is callable

Input

Output

Full name: John doe

Phone: 8458692102

Email: john.doe@yaoo.com

Address Line 1: 1 unicorn

City: norwich

Administrative Area:

Postal Code: NR33AB

Country: GB

Full name: John Doe

Phone: +44 8458692102

Email: john.doe@yahoo.com

Address line 1: 1 Unicorn Rd

City: Norwich

Administrative Area: Norfolk

Postal Code: NR3 3AB

Country: GB

 

In the diagram above, you can see the service standardizing (changing casings, abbreviations, etc.) and making corrections to our input data - add in missing street suffixes, add in phone country dialing code, add in missing state/province/administrative area info, correcting typographical email domain errors (yaoo.com -> yahoo.com), etc.

Next, Personator World takes your data and compares it against trusted reference data in order to verify that individual's information.

In this verification stage, the web service takes the standardized name, phone, email and address from the previous checking stage and performs ID verification. Additional input such as the individuals national ID provisioned by the country's government and date of birth can be verified as well, depending on the country.

 

Input

Output

Full name: John Doe

National ID: HJDO840230HVZRRL05

Date of birth: 2/30/1984

Phone: +56-222-226-8000

Email: john.doe@yahoo.com

Address Line 1: Paseo De Los Conquistadores 2000

City: Guadalupe

Administrative Area: NL

Postal Code: 67170

Country: MX

Results:

 

·         KV01 - Address matched

·         KV02 - National ID matched

·         KV03 - First name matched

·         KV04 - Last name matched

·         KV05 - Phone number matched

·         KV06 - Email matched

·         KV07 - Date of birth matched

 

 

 

The diagram above shows how the service will return back result codes indicating which pieces of information got matched. By observing what kinds of result codes are returned, you can determine how reliable your data is.

Availability

Personator World is currently available as a web service hosted on our servers - meaning you won't have to worry about updates and maintenance. Information about the countries supported and the level of coverage can be found by visiting our online wiki at wiki.melissadata.com. Sample code and documentation is also provided to help you get jump started on building applications and services incorporating our ID verification technology.

 

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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

5 Ecommerce Issues You Forgot--And How to Fix Them

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Want to increase conversions, provide customers with a better shopping experience, and cut down on cart abandonment? Check out these five ecommerce issues you probably forgot and how to fix them to solve these problems and more.

1. The Fat Finger Syndrome

Customers are terrible at typing--especially when it comes to filling out incredibly small contact forms on their smartphones. The fat finger syndrome accounts for many name misspellings, incorrect addresses, email bouncebacks, and invalid order submissions. To take the burden off the customer, try implementing a real-time autocomplete solution. By automatically showing verified addresses and emails as the customer types, you'll help alleviate fat finger syndrome and cut down on form abandonment.

 

2. International Postal Standards Vary

Did you know that in Japan, the last name goes first on shipping labels? And in Canada, the postal codes consist of letters and numbers arranged in a specific way? Those are just two examples of how address standardization can differ from country to country. So, if you're planning to go international, be mindful of varying postal requirements and make sure you have an address verification solution that can verify, standardize, format and transliterate. Solutions like Melissa's Global Address Verification do all of this and more--like adding precise lat/long coordinates to addresses for 40+ countries.

 

3. Upfront Shipping Matters

Amazon has shown the way towards better conversions, more sales, and cost-effective shipping with upfront shipping costs and delivery dates shown at every step of the order process. Now, you can, too! With Decimal, a comprehensive shipping rates manager and delivery dates predictor, you can provide your customers with calculations for shipping while they shop, without interrupting their purchase. That means more customers hitting Submit Order without delay.

 

4. Clean Data Affects Everything

Are you sure you're only storing accurate customer data? The data you collect directly on your site, via call-in orders, through internal systems, and mobile all need to match to show accurate customer records in order to better know your customers, increase upsell opportunities, and provide good customer service. By cleaning data before it enters your database and maintaining it after, you can ensure that every customer's name, address, phone, and email are accurate and verified.

 

5. Fraud Costs More than Lost Sales

Let's look at some stats--every year, businesses lose $3.5 trillion in revenue to financial crimes, and 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft in 2016 alone. Don't let fraud and chargeback costs steal your bottom line. Instead, use an ID verification solution like Personator®, which combs through 2.1 billion records to match name-to-address and verify that every customer is exactly who they say they are.

 

How to Know Customers Are Who They Say They Are

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In 2015 alone, 62% of companies were targets of payment fraud. As customers increasingly conduct their financial affairs online and via mobile devices, risk management and fraud prevention become more and more difficult. So, how do you know customers are who they say they are?

Short of reaching through the computer, tablet, or smartphone screen and verifying a customer with your own eyes, there are a plethora of ways that help you better know your customer, manage risk, and even prevent fraudulent transactions.

Age & National ID Verification

The first step to customer authentication is to match a customer's national ID (for example, their social security or driver's license numbers) and date of birth. Better authenticate a customer's ID documents and simplify compliance with any age restrictions or purchase laws, while improving customer service at the same time. Instantly verify that the customer purchasing your age-restricted goods is old enough to legally make that purchase.

Name-Address Matching

The second step is to match name to address to confirm the person buying your product or service isn't giving you false information. Personator leverages a comprehensive dataset containing billions of records to confirm and match current names and addresses with the highest degree of accuracy. Our powerful, real-time tools and services help you achieve entity resolution and compliance, as well as better know your customer and reduce, or even eliminate, the need for manual review.

Address Correction & Formatting

Next, you'll want to add in what's missing from customer data entry, legacy systems, sales input, and anywhere else your records come from. Add missing street suffixes, state/province/administrative area info, and standardize addresses to specific country formats using Advanced Address Correction (AAC) to verify that addresses are accurate and deliverable to real locations.

Contact Data Validation

Validation concerns more than just a name or address - it needs to look at all aspects of people data, from names and addresses to phone numbers, email addresses, geocodes, IP locations, demographics, and more. Determine that the given postal address for every customer is deliverable, the email address exists, the name associated with a mobile device and whether the phone number is active and callable, and the given name is in a valid format. You can even trace customers with geocodes and IP locators to manage risk and ensure compliance.

Melissa's Personator® World Edition can help meet all of these needs. Personator is a customizable web service that fits all your ID verification process and risk management requirements. It can help optimize onboarding and fraud detection in Ecommerce, AML Compliance, Customer Due Diligence, Card Not Present, Know Your Customer (KYC), and FinTech/RegTech arenas.

Try Personator free for 30 days to see how it can transform your business's safety and compliance.

Melissa provides numerous APIs to handle the standardization, cleansing and verification of various data elements such as addresses, names, phones and emails. Often times we get asked by our customers as to what are some ways to improve the speed when processing records using our APIs. Below are some performance tips to consider when implementing our APIs:

 

Storage

The type of medium where the data files are stored may have an impact on processing speed. We recommend the use of solid state drives to store our data files as they have faster seek & read times compared to spinning disk drives.


We have also sometimes seen clients store the data files on a network share which we definitely don't recommend. Typically, trying to access the files over a network introduces latency which impacts the processing speed when blocks of data need to be fetched quickly. Data files, therefore, should often be stored locally on the machine.

 

Memory

The amount of memory available and speed can also affect processing. While using the APIs, once data is read from the hard drive, the data is cached and stored temporarily into memory in case the data needs to be accessed again shortly.

 

A simple example below, we have a list of phone numbers that were verified using our Phone Object API along with the times in milliseconds indicating the amount of time to verify the phone number.

 

When the Phone Object API encounters a phone number in a new area code, there are spikes in the verify times as the Phone Object now has to go back and fetch a new block from the data files stored on a hard disk and cache it into memory. The more memory available on the system, the more that can be cached into memory as the API reads more blocks from the data files on the disk. And, as discussed in the previous section, having a faster hard drive will help keep those disk read times low when those data file reads occur.


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Multi-threading

Processors with more than a single core are now common these days. If multiple cores are available on the system, we highly recommend that developers take advantage of that. When multithreading with our APIs, we suggest having each thread contain its own object instantiation for our APIs. 


For example, if you have 8 cores, you may want to create 8 threads with our API instantiated 8 times: once per each thread. Ideally, you would want to create a pool of threads that have our API instantiated already, and therefore ready for processing. If you keep reinitializing/instantiating our API, that will introduce some overhead in the processing.

 

The graph and table below shows some multithreaded testing of our own with our Global Address Object® API with UK addresses and, as shown, there as substantial speed increases that can be obtained through multithreading:


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The last major update to the Business Coder Web Service includes the addition of employee contacts for the entered business, allowing for the retrieval of employee names and their respective titles. The next major update to Business Coder will feature an upgrade to the employee contact list returned. Aside from the name and title, contacts will now also give back both their email address and phone number if available. 


This is what the contacts array used to return, versus what it returns with the latest update:


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Make sure to take advantage of these new fields in the next Business Coder update in order to enrich and improve your business contact information. Leveraging additional contact information will certainly allow for new opportunities with business prospects and allow for better marketing segmentation.

 

Try our Business Coder API now.

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.

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