Maintaining the Integrity of Global Data
--Dimitri Garder, Global-Z International
• Use the most accurate data available for verification. For address verification, this means using data from national postal authorities.
-- Frank Days, QAS
• Understand your top 10 markets. Mailing globally can be an overwhelming task. When most mailers analyze the international marketing efforts, they find the vast majority of their mail is destined for no more than 10 countries. Study your top 10 markets and be sure that you understand the nuances of the addressing structure.
• Standardize country names. Official country name listings are readily available on the Internet free of charge. Adding standard country names to your data entry or Web forms will improve your ability to manage global data.
• Modify your database to accommodate international addresses. Many irreparable address errors occur when international addresses are entered into a structure that cannot adequately house the data. Techniques such as adding an additional street address field and creating fields for province and alpha/numeric post codes can greatly increase accurate address capture.
• Supply your staff with the tools to get it right the first time. Providing data entry clerks tools such as atlases, major city listing for specific countries and top level domain extensions for your top 10 markets will enhance their ability to enter the information correctly from the start.
• Add pull down lists whenever possible. Adding pull down menus for address elements such as country and city names will enhance your ability to perform effective data quality management and sortation.
--Sheila Donovan, Global DM Solutions