A Shakespearean Sonnet to Data Quality

A little bit of summertime fun with the Bard and data quality.

“What’s in a NAPE?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

OK, Shakespeare said ‘name’ not NAPE. But the sentiment rings true for data quality. Whatever you call it, good data quality practices will make your marketing perform sweeter. For us, NAPE is a simple acronym we use to describe the four most important elements of a contact record, and where you want to make sure your contact data is accurate:

N – Name

A – Address

P – Phone

E – Email

It is pretty clear to see why, having someone’s name wrong is not a great way to start off a relationship and their address, phone and email need to be correct to ensure your messages reach them. Now, let’s look at why each of these NAPE categories is important to you, and see how our services can support them.

How Macbeth would handle your data problems

“Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair”
-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

This quote is a good metaphor for the life cycle of contact data and its quality, because good leads age over time (Fair to Foul), but our automated services can turn bad leads into good ones again, or flag them for removal (Foul to Fair).

Here are some of the ways we do this:

Name. Not every marketing lead or order you get has a legitimate name, for reasons ranging from fat-fingered data entry, sidestepping lead collection to committing fraud. Our DOTS Name Validation product flags possible fraudulent names – including William Shakespeare! – by providing individual scores for vulgarity, celebrity, bogus, garbage and dictionary names, as well as provides an overall quality score, Name Score.

Address. Bad address data can occur as a result of factors such as data entry error, fraudulent data, or the natural decay of contact data records over time. Knowing where a contact record is from is critical for global compliance issues such as the European Union’s GDPR. Our flagship Address Validation products for US, Canadian or international addresses will correct, validate and append mailing addresses from over 240 countries, to improve accuracy and increase customer satisfaction.

Phone. Contacting wrong or changed phone numbers wastes your time, annoys prospects or customers, and can lead to huge compliance fines in the wake of laws such as the recently updated Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Our Phone Validation products can provide contact information for over 400 million US and Canadian numbers, as well as line type, porting and geocoding information for numbers around the world.

Email. Email validation improves deliverability, decreases bounce rates, helps preserve your sender reputation, and can be important for compliance issues such as the US CAN-SPAM act. Our DOTS Email Validation takes a five stage approach to validating email addresses, weeds out invalid, undeliverable, and bogus email addresses worldwide, while correcting for common domain errors.

Finally there is cross-validation between all of these items – for example, making sure your order for Stratford-On-Avon isn’t coming from an IP address in an obscure third-world country. Tools such as DOTS Lead Validation and DOTS Order Validation will check your leads or orders against more than 130 data points to return overall quality and confidence scores.

Of course, data validation tools like these have gone from being a luxury to a necessity in recent years, for reasons that include marketing cost-efficiency and yield, competitive factors, customer reputation, and regulatory compliance. If you ignore good data hygiene nowadays then alas, poor Yorick, you face consequences ranging from stiff penalties to loss of market share.

How to avoid a Shakespearean data tragedy

In The Merchant of Venice, the Bard penned, “I am not bound to please thee with my answers.” We take a very different approach. Our friendly technical staff loves to give answers to your questions and explore customized solutions with you, with no sales pressure at all. You can even test-drive our tools online, explore all of our documentation, or get a free trial key for up to 500 transactions. Contact us anytime and let us help you sleep, perchance to dream, better about your contact data.

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