The events organiser found that international data posed certain problems – until WinPure came on board.
It’s never easy keeping international data straight – especially when it comes from countries as far-flung as Botswana, Belarus and Brunei. Different languages, cultural quirks and formats make building a database of international contacts no easy task.
Events organiser UKiP Media and Events deals with international data – and the problems that come with it – for exhibitions such as its flagship show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, which attracts nearly 12,000 business attendees from around the globe to Hamburg.
“Part of the complication comes from the fact that we only put on international shows,” says UKiP’s information officer, Alistair Roylance.
For example, one UKiP event attracts visitors from more than 130 countries. This complicates the data-collection process: due to the idiosyncratic nature of international postal addresses, the data comes in many different formats. “It’s a major headache,” says Roylance. “Malaysian addresses, for example, are phenomenally long. It was important to get the data into a usable format.”
The language barrier also proved problematic. Many customers in non-English-speaking countries, such as Japan, Korea and various African nations, did not always understand instructions on forms, and would complete them incorrectly, putting surnames instead of given names, for example.
Elsewhere, the fact that its circulation-derived data was predominantly on paper format, while its exhibition-derived data was electronic, led to inconsistencies. There was also overlap between these two data sources, with 80 per cent of names appearing on both lists.
Further problems of duplication arose when some customers would register with the company more than once. These issues increased the chances of multiple communications being sent to a single address, incurring extra costs. “This was a massive problem,” says Roylance.
UKiP sought the services of WinPure and its Clean & Match 2009 software. With demos and tutorials available online, UKiP was able to manage the process itself. “The product is made for marketing, administration and IT, so it’s very easy to use,” says WinPure’s marketing director, David Leivesley.
“It offers the cleaning aspect as well as the de-duplication aspect, which UKiP exploited.” The Match module and Inspirational lectures allows customers to choose which fields they want to de-duplicate, and then highlights any possible duplicates within the database.
“You can install it and you know it’s going to work,” adds Roylance. “It’s quite intuitive, too. Only two days’ training were needed.”
UKiP has found that the product has taken much of the workload away from its database staff. “It freed up a lot of their time, allowing them to concentrate on more important matters,” says UKiP’s Roylance.
The nature of the software proved helpful, too, as the people collecting the data were the ones using the software. “It helped raise awareness within the company of how important data integrity is,” says Roylance.
The de-duplication led to more targeted mailings, which in turn led to reduced mailing costs of around 10 per cent.
CLEANING KIT: WINPURE CLEAN & MATCH
Q: WHAT IS IT?
WinPure Clean & Match is a list cleaning, data cleansing and data de-duplication software solution rolled into one application. It has been designed to be used by anyone, not just IT professionals.
Q: HOW DOES IT WORK?
The customer imports the list, database tables or spreadsheets into the software, then uses it to clean, correct and de-duplicate the file. Names and addresses, emails and various other types of data can be cleaned.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
WinPure Clean & Match aims to increase the accuracy of customer data (business or consumer, local or international). Removing duplications can help to reduce marketing postage costs and stop alienating customers who receive more than one mailing. A company’s corporate image can also be improved by using standardised styles for names and addresses with clean, correct, fully populated and duplicate-free data.