Today in focus is Melissa Data
As a specialized niche provider, in the area of international data problems, Melissa is able to handle the entire lifecycle of contact data. This means that everything from collection to monitoring is mapped.
To make this possible, the functions of Melissa’s applications cover a wide field. The functions range from cleansing, standardization and validation to data enrichment and match & merge. The size of the data packages does not play a decisive role. Melissa Data is able to offer solutions for small very specific data sets up to huge data pots.
What are the most common problems related to this topic?
Data quality, especially that of contact data, is often insufficient. ERP or CRM systems often work inaccurately when reconciling existing data or adding new data, as these are not subjected to any control mechanisms. The following problems therefore occur more frequently:
- Duplicate data records: A data record is created multiple times in the system.
- Incomplete data records: “Digital” contact information such as email address is often missing. Unfortunately, in practice little value is placed on entering the correct telephone number or address. A lot of time has to be invested for a subsequent contact search.
- Capture of attributes is not standardized: In different systems, the same attributes are captured in different ways. For example, there are variations in the legal form of companies or a salutation.
- Data records become obsolete more quickly than is generally assumed: As a rule, 10% of all contact data falls victim to this problem every year. For example, fluctuation in companies means that the contact person recorded is no longer up-to-date. The same applies to promotions. Insolvencies, acquisitions, rebranding or relocation of companies are further reasons.
Ongoing maintenance also “feels” like it costs money. But the effort required to research or correct outdated data is usually many times more time-consuming and costly than an address validation solution.
If a company wants to avoid these unnecessary additional costs, it is always cheaper to enter the data with high quality from the beginning and to maintain this high level of maintenance continuously.
Melissa’s Data Verification is designed to eliminate data problems.
With a reasonable amount of effort, the user should be able to fix data problems within a database or prevent them from occurring in the first place.
This is possible e.g. by an “input control” (real time) into the database system or the analysis and cleansing of inventory data (batch mode). Melissa’s solutions, which can be individually combined with each other, for exactly these goals, are subdivided as follows:
- Global data quality solution with the building blocks of
- International address validation
- International address autocompletion
- International name validation
- Worldwide telephone number validation
- Worldwide e-mail validation
- IP Address Localization
- Duplicate check
- Melissas’ digital identity verification
The user can combine the modules according to his own needs. In addition, the latter is also able to customize or adapt them. This possibility means that a highly personalized solution down to the lowest level of each data record or data field is no problem.
Melissas’ solutions at a glance:
The foundation – Global data quality solution
Melissa’s great strength is everything related to contact data. In this field, Melissa Data is a niche provider with 35 years of experience.
The following solutions deal with addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, or geodata, among others.
A first advantage, which already results from the name “Global”, is the internationality of the solutions. This is not only tailored to a geographic, or political area. Rather, Melissa offers a product that processes contact data from every corner of the world. With an international customer structure, Melissa’s strengths are particularly evident.
The core – international address validation
Address validation is Melissa’s strength for a reason. On the one hand, all other features can be linked to this solution. On the other hand, it also stands out because of its features.
The first thing we highlighted is the transliteration capabilities of Melissa Data. This is possible in a total of eight alphabets. Covered are the most common Asian alphabets like Mandarin, Thai, Japanese, or Korean. The list is further supplemented by Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic and Greek.
As a plus, Melissa offers the display of the user interface in the above mentioned alphabets. With this option, users in Greece, for example, can enter data in Greek.
Matching address data
The matching methodology used by Melissa does not require any special pre-structuring of the addresses. The content of the input fields is automatically recognized and broken down into logical parts for further processing in real time – known as parsing. These individual parts are validated or corrected after the application of address format definition. This is done by matching them against Melissa’s reference data. After any transliteration, the data is returned to the system and displayed.
The result – the formatted Address Line – can be customized for any need. The display is possible in 110 formats for over 240 countries and territories. The formatted address line automatically reproduces the address in the official postal format of the recognized country and can therefore be used directly for address label printing. Especially for geo-marketing, Melissa Data provides strong arguments. In the same step, geodata can also be output down to rooftop level (house number level).
A special highlight:
We were directly convinced by the direct feedback during address validation.
A classic traffic light system shows the quality of the result at a glance. In addition, the criteria that were successfully checked in the database are indicated alongside. A great advantage for the user is the possibility to customize the traffic light system based on their own requirements. That means an own weighting of the data fields and definition of the gradation in the traffic light enables a particularly precise work and individual solution.
If you are particularly interested in which parts of an address were processed in a validation and how, you can use the result code to track changes and the validation level. The result code provides a quick indication of which validation steps were performed in the background and what results were obtained.
If you are already interested, you can contact Melissa here.
The counterpart to validation – Global Express Entry
Address autocompletion in the front end is particularly popular. When a user enters address data via a web form, this tool is helpful directly before the data is imported into the database. This feature can also be used when entering data into CRM or ERP systems. Good auto-completion keeps data quality high from the start. As a result, significantly fewer errors creep in.
Auto-completion is particularly successful when linked to address verification. This second check leads to an almost perfect result of the quality of a data record.
“Address autocompletion” is an unwieldy term, but it is a very thoughtful feature of Melissa. As mentioned, to prevent incorrect addresses or reduce form abandonment, it is possible to customize autocompletion for your own needs. The capture is faster, the captured data is already validated. Six offered endpoints and the free design of the registration form, as well as the functionality of the suggestion list, do not deliver a product from the assembly line, but an individual customer solution.
Increase response rate with the Name Analyzer
The right salutation is often the foot in the door for marketing campaigns. How often do we not open an e-mail because the address line already contains an impersonal address? Or how often do we leave an advertising letter on the left because we don’t feel addressed?
To avoid this problem, Melissa’s Name Analyzer plays a crucial role. The Name Analyzer can analyze the gender composition of an address list and distinguish between first and last names. The information gained can then be easily and quickly used to refine sales and marketing activities.
Validation of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses
One problem with address data is not only controlling the personal information about a contact, but also their contact details.
In today’s world, a large part of communication takes place by telephone or via e-mail. When verifying one’s data for these avenues, Melissa can provide Global Phone Verification and Global Email Verification tools for analysis.
Phone numbers can be checked for a variety of attributes. These include determining the phone line, a country determination with additional output of time zone and language area, or real-time verification. The performed analysis can provide reliable results due to a global phone verification, which exists for more than 200 countries. In practice, this means the following benefits: Mobile phones can be checked live worldwide, whether they are registered or callable and SMS can be sent.
The problems with e-mail addresses will be familiar to most. No matter if they are spam addresses, blacklisting mails, or addresses to throw away – everyone has already stumbled across them. However, validating these email addresses is crucial for a quality email list. In addition to simple validation via the top-level domain, Melissa offers a strong argument in the Mail Verification top level. By “pinging” an email inbox, it can be verified that it is in use. If there is no response to the ping signal, the email is inactive. So “pinging” is an aid to remove email addresses that cannot be reached from an email distribution list. Furthermore, so-called temporary “e-mail throwaway addresses” as well as spam trap e-mails are detected here.
Risk management with IP localization
A somewhat lesser-known issue in address validation is determining the location of an IP address. The most well-known cases for the use of this feature is credit card fraud.
Melissa’s IP localization offers this location detection option for connections via data cards (i.e. mobile devices), cable connection and WLAN connection. The IP localization works on the basis of the last dial-up point, so the determination reaches up to a 15-kilometer radius. Determining the city in which the IP address is located is therefore possible without further ado. The comparison between the location of the payment and the location of the IP address supports – as far as possible – that gross discrepancies can be reliably detected and uncovered. Proxy detection is also included in the service.
Matching & Deduplication
MatchUp is the duplicate solution from Melissa Data and rounds off the range of options for checking address data.
The duplicate matching is based on expertise developed by Melissa over many years. This knowledge is mapped in 16 fuzzy algorithms (algorithms for pattern recognition, e.g. Levenshtein or Jaro Winkler). With this option, it is not necessary to first develop an own logic for the recognition of duplicates. The existing algorithms already cover the typical problem areas. Basically, as with all modules, Melissa Data offers the option of individual scalability.
Melissa’s Digital Identity Verification – An All-in-One Solution
All of Melissa’s previous features in data validation clearly show the possible variations and high level of detail. For this reason, Melissa’s international and digital ID check “Personator World” is available as a solution of all modules in one.
Only the duplicate detection solution is an on premise function. All others are quickly and easily combined as a SaaS solution.
The digital ID check validates and prepares data in the 1st step. The big plus then comes in a 2nd step when matching with external data sources, e.g. national credit reports. This all works via 1 simple web interface. Finally, the results are returned to the user. In addition, matching against international sanctions lists is also included.
Target group companies: For whom is the use of Melissa Data suitable?
- All company sizes
- Public sector and public institutions
- Online trade: Legitimate interest (purchase on account)
- Legally obliged according to anti-money laundering law and Know Your Customer approach
- Clear trend: companies that generally generate contact data through their main activities or wherever addresses are processed.
Target group users – For whom is the use of Melissa Data suitable?
- Address and data quality specialists
- Also CRM users
- Address managers
- Also developers, since it is a multi-platform tool
Address validation and verification has been an unloved child for many companies for years. Melissa Data offers different and flexible solutions from S-XL, which analyze the data according to different criteria. One gets a pragmatic output of previously defined information.
Each customer can determine the form of validation of his data. An adjustment of evaluation criteria is possible. Thus each set of rules, which a customer brings along, is to be illustrated. The results can be displayed quickly and easily on the screen as a web solution.
For each important element in the verification of address data, there is a separate stand-alone tool. This can – as already mentioned – be individually designed very well. However, each stand-alone tool can also be combined well with another one as desired (e.g. as 1 web service). The wishes and needs of a customer can therefore be fulfilled directly or flexibly adapted through experience gained from use.
Melissa not only provides a simple software solution, but also advises on the implementation up to the running process. The product is thus “brought to life” by the customer, who individualizes the products for himself through his own wishes and input for further development.
Who are references?
An excerpt of the cross-industry references can be found here.
The assessment in detail
Interface / Look & Feel / Usability
+: The interface of the demo is kept simple and straightforward. Big advantage: As a user, you can’t “get lost” when using it for the first time. The labeling of the fields is clear and the sequence understandable. The color of the buttons makes it immediately clear which one is selected and which one is used to continue the test.
-: The use of text should be noted. This is used too prominently on the pages for registering for the demos of the various features. The feature to be tested in the demo can be placed more in the foreground here – only on the right edge of the image this is not the sole eye-catcher and is sometimes quickly lost next to the text. The descriptions of the advantages and functionalities can be listed afterwards. So a prospective customer can recognize the positive experiences from the demo in these again.
+: The representation of the result in the form of the traffic light is well chosen in our opinion. Thus, the user immediately receives an easily understandable feedback on his test. The presentation of the tested address in the post format helps especially with the logical linking. The user can directly see that the test was successful – normally he will check an address format he is familiar with and thus directly see the success.
+: It does not take too much time to learn how to work and analyze the results and can be learned even by newcomers.
-: The potential for confusion for some could be the result code. The legend to this should be quickly accessible to a user.
Interim conclusion: Good design of the user interface. Also the backend with the web console is clearly structured and shows the performed steps again in detail and helps quickly with a further understanding.
Benefit / added value for users
+: Melissa’s applications create added value directly without any adjustment, or further customization. After customizing the application, this can certainly be increased again.
+: Time wasters in day-to-day business are increasingly reduced in the course of collaboration through the use of Melissa. One example is the research of contact data. The quality of existing data is improved by address validation and new addresses are less likely to contain errors due to good address completion. Google no longer needs to be bothered to correct an address.
+: Frequently occurring problem cases can also be easily automated. Melissa’s products can all be customized through custom rule sets. So a recent problem can be fixed by a new business process without much effort.
+: So a Melissa product always adapts to the current challenges of the business. The important thing is that the software fits the company, not the company fits the software!
One of Melissa’s specialties is Matching & Deduplication. Data that has been validated and checked for duplicates by Melissa can be used in companies in a more targeted manner and thus strengthen value creation.
Possibly when migrating data from different databases? -> I can merge data more uniformly and therefore perform a cleanup of duplicates more easily.
- Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Pentaho Data Integration
- Oracle PL/SQL
- JD Edwards
- E-Business Suite
Our conclusion – The benefits:
A knowledgeable and dedicated team that knows what to do with their product. These qualities begin with the consultation, through implementation, and into the deployment of Melissa’s products.
Melissa clearly demonstrates how the product features work and how to combine them to map specific cases in practice. In doing so, the company never reaches for the stars. The customer always receives realistic information.
Melissa Data can draw on a wealth of experience. This provides suitable and specialized providers who contribute to the implementation of the most specific customer requirements. The Melissa team provides perfect support in resolving a complex and time-consuming issue such as the quality of address data. The combination of a good technical consultant (who is available all the time) with a working software guarantees a good result. Satisfaction with the product will be quickly realized by the user thanks to the software, which is understandable and adapted to his case.
Here you can find an overview of the prices: https://www.melissa.com/de/preise
The international character of all solutions stands out here in particular. The possibilities for over 240 countries and territories of transliteration and 110 address formats show this very clearly. There is no narrow thinking. That is why Melissa fits in international or global activities.
The development modules is expected by the high degree of customization and adaptation granted by Melissa. The input gained from this can be put into ongoing development and quality assurance.
Our provider comparison on address and data quality can be found here.