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Should you use a single-purpose or composite validation service for your lead or contact data? Put another way, do you have a singular data validation need, or have you collected multiple data points that can be combined and leveraged?

The goal of this blog is to highlight the various options to consider when looking at data validation solutions. Your decision will depend on the data points you collect along with the timeframe in which they gather them.

Single-purpose versus composite validation services

Our data validation products cover a wide variety of information such as addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, tax rates, BINs, and names. In general terms, the core single-purpose services cover a single field. For example, our DOTS Address Validation – US web service covers data validation for addresses within the United States. Similarly, our DOTS Email Validation web service covers the realm of emails.

Composite services leverage the strengths of our core validation engines along with custom logic to cross-reference and gain insights across multiple data fields. A great example of a composite service is our Lead Validation web services. Our Lead Validation solution is able to cross-validate a contact’s name, address, phone numbers, e-mail and IP address to verify that they are related to the person in question.

Single-purpose validation and when to use them

Our core web services are tailored to perform corrections, standardization, validations and verifications within their respective domain at blazing fast speeds. They are built to do the best job within their specific data category and their speeds aren’t hindered by having their hands in too many pots. These core web services are the ideal choice if you have a more limited scope of data inputs and a specific validation need, such as address, email, or name validation. Theses services are generally less expensive, as they are validating against fewer authoritative datasets.

Composite validation and when to use them

When using a composite service, you benefit from the combined power of the individual core services. The same web service engines are baked into the composite services to provide the most accuracy and speed while extending the composite service’s utility via cross referential logic. The additional data points, coupled with our validation and fuzzy logic, allow the composite services to leverage multiple datasets to make the most informed verification and correction decisions. A couple of examples of our composite services are Address Detective and Lead Validation for US, Canadian and International leads.

The data collected and how it’s used – determines the service

If you are only collecting a single piece of information, a single-purpose web service will be the clear choice. The data can be validated for the single item and then leveraged to fit your business needs. However, it is not uncommon to have multiple pieces of data collected for a lead. This could be data that was collected in a single pass or built out over time.

Depending on the data collection timeframe and your specific needs, there are different approaches you can take to data validation. If you are collecting your data points (address, email, IP, name, phone, etc) over a period of time and need validation for the individual components then and there, one of our core services will be your best option.

If you are collecting multiple pieces at the same time or have looser restrictions on when the data is validated, waiting for more information could be beneficial. For example, if you wait until you have more data points in hand, our lead validation will have more information to validate and cross-reference. In turn, the overall validation scores and certainties have a better opportunity to be correct. Similarly, our Address Detective web service can take a step beyond the core Address Validation to leverage name and phone numbers to validate an address.

Another consideration is when you use contact data. For example, when marketing is preparing to send out an omnichannel marketing campaign for the holidays, validating customer and prospect lists should be part of the campaign plan, ideally just before sending.

So, do you need to see the overall picture of your lead, or do you simply need to ensure that each of its component pieces of data are correct? The answer to this question will help you choose the fastest and most cost-effective solution for your needs.

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