help desk software
 In Data Cleansing, Fuzzy Matching

bricks-and-mortarAlmost exactly a year following its unveiling in last year’s budget by Chancellor George Osborne, Britain’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)  become law on Wednesday March 27th, 2014.   Amongst other requirements, the new rules mandate that councils must set housing targets on a 5-year rolling basis that will identify potential developable land within their respective jurisdictions.

While on the face of it, “planning” for such an important aspect of our economy and our environment might be considered a good thing, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) believes the country is not in a position to execute on those plans. According to CPRE estimates, only 11 of the 34 Midlands unitary, county and metropolitan districts are in a position to have their plans in place by the deadline. A vast majority (23 of them) aren’t yet in a position to submit their plans to the government.

Good planning implies a well orchestrated and perfectly timed and executed set of consultations. It involved a deliberate outreach effort by the planners with all major stakeholders involved or impacted, however slightly or considerably, by an issue. Unfortunately, the government’s NPPF impacts a large segment of British society, and as a result requires an extra ordinary outreach effort. And to enable that to happen, government organizations, private agencies and a host of other bodies must have accurate and usable data that can further their outreach campaigns.

The truth however is not many such mass contact campaigns can happen successfully without up to date contact lists, email addresses and other contact databases. Many of these data resources, compiled and maintained by various stakeholders are:

  • filled with duplicate records
  • rife with unreadable data included in them
  • peppered with incomplete data fields embedded into them

What this means is that, when consultation outreach is attempted using that data, to discuss the impact that the governments planning and housing development policies will have on individuals or groups:

  • letters sent by regular mail will likely not reach many addressees
  • many addressees will probably receive multiple copies of the same information
  • emails sent will bounce back, undelivered
  • some email recipients will get multiple messages, prompting them to flag the sender as a possible spammer

To avoid all of these negative outcomes, WinPure has created a host of software tools that can sanitize, de-dupe and cleanse contact lists and address databases.  By using a series of highly complex fuzzy-logic based matching algorithms, these tools are able to quickly cross check huge amounts of data and produce clean, usable contact lists.

In effect, by taking error riddled lists and matching them against other such lists, and by purging them of duplicate records and un-readable characters and fields, WinPure not only helps list owners save time, effort and money, but it turns that data into a highly effective communications asset. And since these tools are supported on some of today’s most affordable platforms, including Windows XP-SP2 / 2003 / Vista / Windows 7 and Windows 8, it means users don’t even have to invest significantly in high-end IT infrastructure to take full advantage of them.

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