Pepper Data Quality & Matching Whitepaper - Demystifying Data

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Data quality and matching

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Contents
The case for data quality management

Customer data used to be something other companies were good at managing. Employed in a handful of channels to support direct marketing, sales and service, few businesses put in the effort to make sure their customer information was fit for purpose. That’s no longer an option. Today, customer data is the lifeblood of contemporary business. Its use has spread beyond customer management to support finance, ecommerce, product development and multiple other functions.

Software lies at the heart of DQM

Customer data degrades at 8-9% a year. The cost of holding and mailing an incorrect record to a business over the lifetime of that customer is £50. The average cost of processing and amending an incorrect record is £3.50. To support business-critical operations, customer data has to be accurate, compliant and up-to-date. That’s not a simple task – nor is it a one-off. Managing customer data quality effectively demands the right processes and software, with data capture the entry point to a continuous cycle of batch updating and verification.

Data cleaning pic

Matching Essentials

If every name and address were always expressed in the same way, customer record matching would be simple. That’s what free exact matching tools rely on, but their application is limited to the point of irrelevance. Unfortunately, any one name and address can be expressed in many different forms – just as a call centre agent can generate any number of typos in entering it

Cygnus Dedupe - the gold standard

We believe Cygnus’s Dedupe module to be the most accurate name and address deduplication matching solution available today. We’ll put our case for that shortly. Launched in 2002 after multiple man-years of development, our dedupe routine was built from the outset to give the most accurate matching for UK names and addresses. Our approach maximises absolute accuracy and lets the software be tuned to suit different data types and matching applications.

Data preparation

This pre-processing stage is a complex business in itself - one reason why suppression and deduplication matching must always be run as part of the workflow within a full data processing package. Cygnus offers a host of tools to handle auditing, parsing, validating and enhancing input data, as well as other common data processing tasks like splits and merges, test cell creation or 1-in- N selection.

The Speed Challenge

High volume deduplication matching is a balancing act between speed and accuracy. Comparing each record with every other record would be impractical. The Cygnus Dedupe is an elegant solution that offers fast processing while maximising accuracy. Because the vast majority of records in any file will be unique non-matches, Cygnus employs a twostage matching process, changing the balance between speed and accuracy in each step. In the second phase, it applies innovative algorithms to raw data and compares the results against its rulebase, reducing errors to an absolute minimum.

5 Questions to ask a Data Quality Management vendor

The choice of blue chip clients and marketing service providers, Cygnus is the UK’s premier data quality software suite. Easy and straightforward to use, yet powerful enough to process millions of customer records, it offers a modular suite of tools that can be configured and integrated to suit any deployment. Based on our own clients’ experience, here are the top five questions to ask if you are considering a new solution.

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