Bad_Habits~by Katie Favreau, Jennifer Martell & Paul Harris

We know good data when we see it, and we also know when it’s not so good. That’s why we decided to give you some insight to some of our top “Bad Data Habits” that we see frequently in global databases. Here are some of the our top bad habits.

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  • Trying to store international addresses in a database meant for USA.

This habit is common on data capture forms that were designed without consideration for global address systems. All address systems are not the same and when you have a required “state” field in a country that doesn’t have any states, you’re bound to end up with a some data problems. Do your homework and know your market. If the database you’re creating will reach a global customer, you should consider how the data will be entered and stored.

See the example below of a good global data capture form.Global Data Capture Form

  • Proper fielding when data entering is essential.

The best example here is not requiring a “country” field. If a contact has only a street address and name without an identified country, that makes the address not correctable. Our earth has many people and without some essential data points, it’s like finding a needle in a really big haystack.

  • Excel corrupting data.

Excel is without a doubt a powerful tool. However, sometimes it’s not your friend. Simple commas can corrupt your data fields if you’re not careful. We’ve seen excel do some funky things in the past and we recommend you are very careful when storing data in excel. The more data you have, the more chances you have for excel to corrupt it.

See the video below for an example of how excel can corrupt your data with its autocorrection rules.

  • Placing contact names and business names in the same field.

This is a no-no that needs to be nipped in the bud fast. These data points should always be in separate fields. Here is an example, First Name: Paul, Last Name: Harris, Company Name: Global-Z International. You shouldn’t have “Paul Harris Global-Z International” all in one field.

  • Searching for a Niche Group - Magnifying GlassNot checking for dupes when new data is entered.

Duplicate data becomes unmanageable fast. A quick check before a new record is entered in a database will prevent much anger and confusion in the long run. Nothing slows you down like doing a look-up on the name “John Smith” only to find you have 13 different “John Smith” records and all of them have conflicting information populated in the fields.

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Global-Z International recently launched a new Global Name Standardization Solution that services all countries in the world. The new service is a best-in-class solution that provides valuable information to clients who care greatly about the user experience and want to get the gender references right. Global Name Standardization will identify, with a high rate of accuracy, the gender of all records in large global datasets.

The driving use case for this new solution is to clean up messy name data in order to improve data record matching rates.  Another service benefit is to improve the presentation of name information for CRM and direct marketing content.

Many improvements have been made to the Global Name Standardization solution that makes it the most competitive service in the global market. Some of the major improvements include:

  • Updated global name reference data;
  • Improved statistical data on usage of names of given gender;
  • Language-specific gender usages;
  • Usage from census information and additional sources of name data.

“We are advancing the global capabilities to a level of sophistication that some domestic solutions have had for awhile,” said Dimitri Garder, Global-Z’s CEO. “This is part of an ongoing evolution of our customer contact data solutions,” Garder added.

The Global Name solution also includes some unique features that have some exciting and potentially powerful use-cases. These features include:

  • Unisex name identification. This can be used when you have names in the data that tend to be male in one language, but female in another. The name “Jean” is a classic example. “Jean” is a female name in the English language but in French culture, it’s a male name.
  • Alternate name spelling conversions to common names. An example for this use case is the nick-name “Will” can be swapped for the given name of “William.”
  • First and last name swap ability. This feature can swap first and last names if they are reversed based on a statistically assessment of likelihood. Example: “Smith, John” we will changed for “John, Smith.”
  • Name Culture of Origin Identification. The feature can determine statistical likelihood of a names culture of origin.

“We are excited to add this new name solution to complement our suite of growing services,” said Garder.

Related articles:

Personal Names Around The World

Merging and Matching Records

 

LockThe US Department of Commerce and European Commission issued press releases this week (Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016) that outline some key changes to the EU-US Safe Harbor; now dubbed the “Privacy Shield.”   This agreement replaces Safe Harbor which was declared invalid October 6, 2015.

Privacy Shield Summary

While the new accord still needs to be reviewed by the Article 29 Working Party and the College of Commissioners, but assuming it remains substantially the same, we can expect the following:

  • More stringent obligations on companies handling Europeans’ personal data and more robust enforcement
  • EU individuals will have access to multiple avenues to resolve concerns, including through alternative dispute resolution at no cost to the individual.
  • The Privacy Shield includes new contractual privacy protections and oversight for data transferred by participating companies to third parties or processed by those companies’ agents to improve accountability and ensure a continuity of protection.
  • Clear safeguards and transparency obligations on U.S. government access.  The US has agreed to an annual joint review with the EU, including with respect to national security access to personal data.

The details currently available are included in press releases issued by the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce; a summary and related links to the releases are here:

Global-Z expects the Commission and FTC will make the entire agreement publicly available soon. After our review of the fully-published agreement, Global-Z will provide you with another update. Importantly, US companies will need to review the new Privacy Shield program carefully before deciding to commit to it.

We will continue to keep you posted. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

200261368-001With the addition of US data quality services to our industry leading international services Global-Z now offers one of the best ‘Global” solutions in the market.

For the last two decades Global-Z has been the market leader in data processing for international data quality. Our depth of application knowledge, advanced multi-byte writing system capabilities and flexible service delivery options gives us the cutting edge to serve our clients better than any other competitor. International contact data quality is at the core of what we do and it’s who we are.

For the last few years we have observed a market shift. The marketplace is becoming much more internationally integrated and our clients have a growing preference for one-stop solutions for global needs, including cross border recognition.   

In order to become the best, one-stop shop for global customer database cleansing, Global-Z has   added US data processing to our capabilities set. Now we have a complete range of services that will add value to our clients who prefer to work with a single vendor for a comprehensive global solution.

“Adding US data quality to our capabilities adds significant value for our clients who have   global needs,” said Dimitri Garder, Global-Z Executive Vice President. “Our primary strength has always been, and always will be, international data processing, however, now we are able to offer a more comprehensive solution worldwide.”
If you have any questions about our US processing capabilities please contact us. We’re happy to help.

UPU_Logo

BENNINGTON, VT., October 22nd, 2015 — Global-Z International announced today its CEO and Co-Founder, Dimitri Garder, has accepted an invitation to be a guest speaker at a new Global Addressing Conference hosted by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Berne, Switzerland, on October, 26th – 27th during the UPU Council of Administration session.

The UPU organized this event with the goal of exploring how to extend access to global address infrastructure. The two-day event will discuss new ways for addresses to be developed and implemented faster and at lower cost, in particular through the use of new technologies.

The conference schedule:

  • Day 1: Will focus on illustrating the economic and social value of address infrastructure; as well as on reviewing innovative solutions and tools that facilitate address management and access to spatial information.
  • Day 2: Will be devoted to building capacities through a hands-on session, focused on real examples of up-to-date, user-friendly addressing system models

“I’m excited to be part of this important discussion,” said Dimitri Garder, Global-Z CEO.          “We are happy to share our 25+years’ experience helping companies improve global address databases and location technologies. Global address access and quality are becoming increasing more important for economic growth as the world markets become more interdependent.”

About Global-Z International

Global-Z International was founded in 1989 focused on improving customer data quality and intelligence in global markets.  Today Global-Z serves some of the largest global enterprises with customized international data quality solutions for their marketing, customer relationship and master data management needs.

Global-Z International, Inc., is headquartered in Bennington, Vermont with offices and operations in the US, Canada and Japan.

For more information, please contact Paul Harris at:

+1.802.445.1011 Ext. 215 Phone

+1.802.445.1016 Fax

pharris [at] globalz [dot] com

www.globalz.com

Canada~by Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing

It’s no surprise that data privacy has become a big concern for many global companies. That’s why Global-Z goes above and beyond to assure your data remains secure and private, while allowing our services to add significant value to your global data.

Canada Post, our partner for providing Canadian National Change of Address (NCOA) services, recently announced some changes to their rules for NCOA processing. These policy changes would have had restricted us from returning some of the valuable fields we normally give to our customers after NCOA processing, specifically the Change of Address Notification (COAN) type and the Record Type fields. When we heard of the new policy change, we began to collaborate with Canada Post in order to reach a solution that will allows us to provide our customers with these valuable fields while keeping the data safe.

“Our relationship with Canada Post is strong,” said Dimitri Garder, Executive VP of Global-Z. “We have successfully worked with Canada Post to create a better solution that fits their need, and fits the best interest of our customers.”

“It’s predictable that many data vendors will change policies in the future,“ stated Doug Robinson, Global-Z’s Chief Technology Officer.  “Our job is to look out for everyone’s best interest as best we can.”

Want more information about Canadian NCOA services? Please contact us.

~by Paul Harris, Sales and Marketing Assistant

Merry Law, Address Data Quality Expert

Global-Z recently had the opportunity to catch-up with our longtime friend Merry Law. Merry is the President of WorldVu LLC, the editor of the Guide to Worldwide Postal-Code and Address Formats and author of Best Practices for International Mailings.

Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Global-Z: Why is it so important to for marketers to have good address quality anyway? 

Merry: Correct addresses are important in two ways: delivery (of course) and perception.

For delivery, a completely incorrect address or one that can’t be understood is not deliverable.   This can mean an invoice, a marketing offer, or a product doesn’t arrive.  Each of those creates different problems and costs before the mailing (printing, packaging, postage) and after the item doesn’t arrive (following up, reshipping products or processing refunds, and so on.)

If the address is decipherable and gets delivered, it can take extra time to get there.  (That can means delayed payments with invoices, slow order streams with marketing offers, or customer complaints with products.)  A poor address also sends a poor message to the recipient about your company.  The company is not professional, is ill-informed, and doesn’t know what they are doing.

 

Global-Z: It’s almost comical to highlight the importance of mail being delivered correctly. Do you think many marketers are ignoring address data quality issues, or do they not have the resources/time to deal with it?

Merry: Yes, isn’t it! I think many marketers and other mailers aren’t aware of all the resources available for verifying and correcting international addresses or don’t know how cost effective those services can be.  Some mailers tell me that the cost of the address hygiene services are often made up for in savings from wasted printing, postage and processing required by undelivered mail.

The same is true of the time element. The amount of time a staff is involved in dealing with returned and undeliverable mail can be greater than the staff time required by the address hygiene process.   And, the old issue of who pays for the hygiene comes up, although we know that the artificial silos between marketing, IT, and other departments on issues like address quality are counter-productive.

There’s sometimes an issue of convincing top management to invest in address hygiene.  Companies like Global-Z help demonstrate how you will benefit from address hygiene.

 

Global-Z: In 2013, you made predictions about the future of marketing. Looking back, which trends do you think will continue this year?

Merry: I think my predictions from last year have held up pretty well, although the growth in international has been a bit slower than I expected.  The restrictiveness of Canada’s legislation on email privacy was a surprise but I don’t think we will see other countries follow this path.  Indeed, the Canadian government is seeing some problems with the strictness of the regulations.

The exploration of big data and integrated, multichannel marketing (by any name) will, I think, be the ones that get the most attention from marketers this year.  The USPS discount offers for qualifying mailings that integrate digital into a mail piece are a wonderful development.  These have now been continued and expanded.  (See here for details.)

 

Global-Z: How would you describe the current state of the direct mail industry?

Merry: While there’s been a tremendous shift  to move away from mail over the last decade, there seems to be a recent move back to direct mail.  Mail works.

Internationally, there are generally fewer legal and practical limitations on sending mail than there are on email marketing.  Mail also reaches everyone, everywhere.  Studies suggest that people spend more time looking at a piece of printed mail than they do looking at an email.  As all marketers know, those seconds matter to the response rate.

 

Global-Z: What’s new at WorldVu? Are you working on any new projects that you are excited about?

Merry:   I have been doing more writing and speaking.  I am speaking more often on best practices for international mailing.  I recently presented a paper on The Value of Addresses, discussing their economic and financial value, at conferences in France and the U.S.  It’s an interesting topic that’s often neglected by both companies and by governments.  Perhaps if addresses were a balance sheet asset, top management would better understand the need to spend on address hygiene and maintenance.

AsiaGlobeIs your business global?

Do you use data capture forms on your website?

Are they optimized for global contact data?

Watch Our Webinar

 

Watch Global-Z’s first (ever) webinar titled, 5 Best Practices for International Contact Data Capture. Capturing contact data becomes much more difficult to manage on a global scale and we have the experience and expertise to help you become a data capture master!

Our presenter, Marty Shaw, has years of experience helping companies with their global contact data. Marty’s valuable knowledge will surely help your organization identify ways that you can manage all your data, accurately, safely and effectively.

playing_w_fire

~ by Marty Shaw, Global-Z Director of Sales & Marketing

Our parents told each of us growing up to “never play with matches”, right? Sorry to inform the parents of Global-Z’s R&D team… they didn’t listen to you!

Each week the GZ team has ongoing training sessions which are often lead by our R&D team. Recently we have been focusing the training on our data matching services. As we go through the training it becomes evident very quickly how much the GZ R&D team likes playing with matches! “Here’s what happens when you include the phone number along with the address in the match.”, “Look when you then add the email address.” As they play with matches during our interactive training we see first hand how our clients’ varying use cases for data quality matching often necessitate the fine-tuning of the business rules to optimize the match results. The granularity of the match rules we incorporate into our services often necessitate different rules not only from one company to the next, but even within a company our clients benefit from inter-departmental match logic differences. What the team in the IT department considers a match may not necessarily be the same for the Marketing department.

Fortunately for the GZ Sales team… and more importantly for our clients… all this “data quality pyrotechnics” proves very beneficial. Keep playing with those matches, R&D team!

Simon_Daniels

 

Recently, Global-Z had the unique opportunity to speak with Simon Daniels, Director, Marketing Operations Consulting at Percassity Marketing Data Solutions. Simon is a career-long specialist in marketing data strategy and marketing operations with experience spanning a range of sectors across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific regions.

We hope you enjoy our interview with Simon.

 

Global-Z- Can “Big Data” ever be too big to handle?

Simon- In my more cynical moments, I sometimes describe big data as that amount of information that is just too much to handle conveniently, meaning almost anything is “big” if you want it to be! In reality though, the technology in terms of data storage and processing available today can essentially handle any conceivable quantity of data, albeit at a price. Big data is about more than just volume though, also encompassing variety and velocity (the so-called “Three V’s of Big Data”). So, even large amounts of data are not necessarily actually “big”. The limitations actually lie in the ability to do something useful with all this data and achieving clarity over its intended use. The temptation to collect data for the sake of it should be avoided and with it the risk of it ending up being too big to handle.

Global-Z- To move into this world of big data, what advice would you recommend to a company that feels overwhelmed by all the obstacles they face?

Simon- Well, you’ve hit the nail on the head with reference to becoming overwhelmed. So the first move is to take a step back and define the objectives for working with big data. What are the questions to be asked, where will the data come from and what will be the business impact? Then, start small, perhaps with standard tools that are entirely capable of managing very large data volumes and might even already be in use in an organization. Remember the three V’s and consider whether big data is really being dealt with at all. Once a true big data initiative has been identified though, ensure there is senior buy-in and that IT are fully engaged – true big data can’t be handled without substantial technology expertise.

[My recent BrightTalk webinar Big Data and Marketing: Small steps to get started might be of interest]

Global-Z – Consolidating data in a single view can be very complicated when you are collecting global data from multiple countries/cultures. What kinds of challenges does a marketer face when international data is involved?

Simon- One of the greatest challenges when working with international data is simply lack of familiarity. Recognizing issues such as missing address elements, incorrect formatting and invalid entries is considerably more challenging than working on data from familiar geographies, where such issues are immediately obvious. Involving local colleagues to review potential issues and advise on idiosyncrasies – ensuring reasonable time is allowed – is a good approach. At a technical level, non-Latin character sets (Kanji, Arabic, etc.) and diacritical marks (accents, umlauts, etc.) can pose difficulties and introduce corruption. Parsing files with Regular Expression tools can identify such issues, especially in larger data sets. At a process level, it can be challenging to manage data from multiple international sources as part of a consolidation initiative. It’s a good idea to track source and location separately – data supplied from the Munich office might not necessarily all be German!

Global-Z- New data quality procedures can become disruptive to normal business processes and this often can cause friction between people who have a difficult time adjusting to the new rules. What advice would you give to a company that faces these challenges?

 Simon- The overriding question to keep in mind is “What’s in it for me?”. When everyone in the organization can clearly see the benefit to them of observing data management policies and processes, they will be far more willing to adopt them. Also, try and make adherence to policy business as usual; for instance, where possible, build workflow for capturing new contact details in the CRM system that searches for possible existing instances of the contact being added as part of the entry process. This way, best practice duplicate avoidance can be combined with routine activities.

 Global-Z- What other resources about data quality for marketers would you suggest to our readers?

 Simon- Well, it goes without saying that a quick chat with the guys at Global-Z on matters surrounding marketing data quality is always a good place to start! I often turn to the excellent resources published by international data guru Graham Rhind, especially his Global Sourcebook for International Data. And for all things data quality related, take a look at Data Quality Pro , with extensive information, links and guidance on a range of data quality issues.

Simon Daniels can be reached at solutions [at] percassity [dot] com. You also can follow him on Twitter in his guise of Marketing Insight Guy for regular updates on marketing data and technology.