The possibility of a wrong shipment should be taken seriously by any business. It is not just about sending an order to a customer or a partner and missing the delivery due to an incorrect address. These scenarios are rare, but possible. The most tangible risk is the approximate management of postal, communication and logistics procedures. For example, due to a delay linked to the search for the correct address. Often a different house number is enough to create a problem for a deliveryman or a trucker. Imprecision is undoubtedly the worst enemy of those working in the shipping field. This is why there is special software for postal address validation. And that’s why this software can be integrated into business applications via API.
In international jargon we speak of API address validation in reference to the set of tools that allow us to satisfy this type of requirement by means of a web service interface. It goes without saying that there are multiple versions of API for address normalization, from those that can be integrated into e-commerce to suggest the correct address to customers when purchasing (and avoid unpleasant delays, returns, etc.), to the address validation APIs for business applications, able to validate and correct the addresses of existing databases. Shipments and search for roads remain the main objectives of API address normalization, but the features offered by a web service of this type go further. Let’s see in detail the services that can be activated with API in a business application.
If Master Data are the intangible resources – computer and not – more valuable for a company, the Master Data Management (abbreviated to MDM) represents the system of administration and care of Master Data par excellence. We are talking about a sector of advanced corporate governance, which, however, is not just about multinationals and industrial groups. In fact, any medium and large enterprise can greatly benefit from the adoption of an effective Data Master Management strategy. This is true today and will be more and more in the future with the exponential growth of IT systems and data volumes collected through manual (call center, data entry, etc.) and automatic / semi-automatic (funnel, newsletter, landing page, etc.). Note the mixture of channels from which the data originates: we should not think of Master Data Management as something that exclusively concerns the field of infomation technology. The advantages, as we will see in this article, are real only if we take into account the set of variables involved.
Online database normalization is achieved quickly and easily, even by non-experts, by using Address4 software. You don’t need complex programs or the latest computers because the databases of personal data will be normalized online by the Address4 website by just uploading the file in the most common formats. The procedure is simplified for the user, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Normalizing entire database means quickly examining files containing up to hundreds of thousands of names with just one click. Each name must be “normalized” by an operation that implies several activities of calculation and sequence verifications.
The raw datum must be given back as reclaimed, that is, corrected and validated according to the preset quality standards. The same objective is shared when online addresses are normalized or email addresses are validated. Each name in the database is checked for punctuation and spelling so that possible typing errors are eliminated. Obsolete fields are replaced by updated values, for example when a surname is modified. Finally, the name is completed with missing information according to the defined patterns and the desired format. That way, important information about the age, sex and nationality can be obtained by simply starting from his/her name and surname. Moreover, we can quickly and precisely discover some useful details for our business such as the address, phone number, email address, and, of course, in accordance with the current privacy regulations.
If you want your international parcel delivery to succeed, spelling your address correctly is definitely important. Medium-sized or big companies, online structured stores and other kinds of entities that send material overseas every day as part of their business should reduce to a minimum – or even better, completely eliminate – returns and errors when delivering, therefore avoiding dreadful wastes of time, resources and money. A superficial or erratic approach when composing addresses can cause delays, failed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction, with a negative fallout that is hard to contain. Such risks must be immediately avoided, mastering the knowledge of the formats allowed for international shipments and using adequate tools for data cleansing and normalisation.
The first step is to make sure that the addresses are transcribed in an appropriate manner, that is, in compliance with the standards set by the postal system of the destination country. In fact, not all countries adopt the same identical format. If the main data are common for every country (both for recipient and sender), there may be significant variations concerning codes, abbreviations and the order of all the elements too. So how do you get the actual correct format? Many authoritative sources are available online, such as the Universal Postal Union database, the UN specialized agency in charge of coordinating the postal policies of every member country, but also the Appendix V International Address Formats from Microsoft, where some examples are given for international shipping formats. Other than these ones there are also additional sources usually less precise or not as complete as the other ones.
Data entry is a simple task but it is by no means cheap. Entering thousands of data elements in the form of addresses, profiles or contacts can be extremely costly, especially in the long run, which is why it is important to find a high-performance work system. Although manual data entry is still prevalent and in some way to be expected for data entry, cost reduction remains an objective for everyone, especially businesses and companies that want to optimise costs without sacrificing quality. In fact, we mustn’t forget that the best data entry method is not the one with lower costs: it is the correctness and validity of the entered data that makes a difference, after which they must be cleansed of any errors or omissions.
With this in mind, in order to ensure profitable data entry it is also necessary to take other aspects into consideration, such as the speed of the process (faster when corrections are not necessary), or auto-completion of certain operations, seeing the geolocation of data on a map or the association of a home address with an area code, a province, etc. In this article, we take a look, step by step, at 5 helpful tips to limit data entry costs and achieve superior results in terms of data quality, even for large volumes of information and without the need of external support from a technician.
To improve Big Data management means you guarantee your company (or your job) tangible advantages on all fronts. By applying correct Big Data management – be it postal address files, user profiles, or other data – you can streamline the decisional procedures, precisely define your targets, access new business opportunities, all without errors, omissions or wasted time. The longer-term potential from this type of investment is enormous: it could be to reorganize your current customer database or send products purchased from the company website anywhere at home or abroad (therefore, know the exact dispatch address in near and distant countries), the effectiveness of the various activities mainly depends on the quality of the data you have availability of.
For these and other reasons, it is fundamental to know how to manage your Big Data with cutting edge IT tools, the only ones able to guarantee results that satisfy your expectations.
This article explains how you can improve your Big Data management in 4 simple steps.
Let’s start from the first step, collecting the data you need.
Many studies are conducted on company efficiency. Whether they are carried out in a university or Research & Development environment, the end results show that company efficiency is an extremely important objective, on which the well-being and success of a business, big or small, depends. Pursuable on several levels, both microscopic and macroscopic, company efficiency involves different spheres that include energy management, resource optimisation and data quality. In fact, data quality is one of the cornerstones of modern business management: in an era dominated by data analysis and storage software, having computer programs that can manage names, postal addresses, etc., means being able to take full advantage of the potential of the resources in your possession (time, energy, human capital and money).
Data quality control is one of the most difficult challenges for today’s large and medium-sized enterprises. Just managing the names of suppliers, or of customers in contact with customer care is overwhelming, not to mention the latest developments over recent years, newsletter subscribers and company blogs, for example. Different groups, yet united by the same characteristic: their importance to the company. The supply of spare parts, materials and products, in fact, depends on suppliers. Likewise, the brand’s reputation, and therefore the company’s image in the public eye, depends on customer service. The same goes for the many people who follow the company and are registered on the official website: these people represent a company’s most important customer base. This set of contacts must be organised with great care, so as to obtain top quality data.
There are numerous ways to do geomarketing: some are very important because they help us find new customers, others help make work easier because our data is organized better. In all events, we can always gain effective advantages in several fields, from time saved to reduced costs. Just think of what it means for a company or professional to have to manage thousands of addresses linked to likewise customer names, and not have any idea where they are situated geographically. When we need to mail promotions, for example selling pellet stoves, we have to calculate where the customers are located to ensure perfect timing in relation to the climate.
THE OBSTACLES THAT SLOW DOWN YOUR BUSINESS (AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM)
Running a business efficiently means that, every day, you have to face numerous unexpected factors and problems and overcome them. A daily challenge that can be won with the help of colleagues, experts, partners and also cutting edge IT systems and software, like Address 4 – the multiplatform that has been developed to support all operations for Address Validation, Geocoding and Data Quality. For anyone running ecommerce, working on CMR, data entry and collection, operators in shipping and delivery sectors, address validation is a practical and secure solution to be ahead of the problems and therefore avoid a great deal. Here are 5 obstacles you can avoid with Address 4!
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