We employ rigorous data testing including applying proprietary models and algorithms to ensure only the most deliverable addresses and accurate data elements are on the SMA Consumer Database. Our confidence codes allow us to retain the most complete information and improve data quality.
New data is tested in a controlled environment using standard maintenance systems, syndicated research, licensed third-party software and numerous data quality routines. Each set of results is bench-marked against established data quality standards and U.S. norms.
We run specific tests designed to measure the accuracy of data items such as telephone number, homeowner status, dwelling unit size or age of primary decision maker. The range of tests include first class mailings, syndicated research matching, third-party telephone validation and electronic directory assistance.
Recency of Data
The recency of data is established for time sensitive variables and recorded as a date stamp on name/address records.
We use licensed U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and commercial software to code and evaluate address records from an agency that holds a current 4 year NCOA license. We ensure that records include complete street name, pre/post directional, secondary address components (i.e. apt number or rural route), ZIP+4, and carrier route etc. Overall data quality checks are built into each product and maintenance cycle to ensure a continuous flow for the highest quality data. These include:
- Process Control – standard routines and steps for processing updates, producing reports, editing data and disseminating status.
- Statistical Quality Control – weekly runs that record and measure national frequencies and pattern distributions for over 150 variables by update and output exception reports for review and action.
- Detail Level Measurement – comparison of a sample of update records at the name/address level and monitor changes applied through the update process.
We periodically re-evaluate each source to ensure that original data standards are being followed. These processes include:
- Licensed USPS Products – monthly source processing through postal products including National Change of Address (NCOA), Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS), Delivery Sequence File (DSF), etc.
- First Class Mail Deliverability Testing – monthly sample name/address mailings designed to evaluate household mobility and completeness of address.
- Electronic Directory Assistance – name/address lookups against up-to-date Regional Bell databases to confirm accuracy of name, address and telephone number.
- Syndicated Research and Telephone Analysis – validation of data elements and recency through matching of records against syndicated research files and telephone validation.
On a semi-monthly basis, SMA undergoes the most rigorous and thorough data hygiene routines of any compiled file on the market including:
- The USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) file is a databank of more than 120 million permanent address changes, updated weekly and covering a rolling 36-month period of reported move information. NCOA identifies movers at the individual, family and business level. We pass the SMA Consumer Database against the NCOA file semi-monthly to assure that we maintain the most current address on each consumer record.
- The Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) is a database of addresses that have been converted from non-standardized, rural-style addresses to standardized, city-style addresses when a community converts to 911 emergency service. LACS also detects addresses where a street has been renamed or additional information has been assigned to improve the accuracy of delivery.
- Nixie Elimination Service (NES) identifies potential moves. This might be a move where no forwarding address has been identified or the name and address match did not meet the USPS threshold for NCOA matching. NCOA Nixies are not typically used for list sales.
- The Delivery Sequence File (DSF) is the USPS listing of all deliverable addresses in the country. By utilizing it to identify fully deliverable vs. questionable addresses, we calculate our new AQI address quality measure. The use of the DSF file ensures that Experian provides only the most deliverable lists available on the market to our customers. It can also be used to identify potential fraud situations and addresses of particular current concern (i.e. Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies).
- DO-NOT-CALL files are suppressed in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws.
- Suppression files collected from the Direct Marketing Association, customer requests and proprietary files are suppressed during each update.
On a quarterly basis we take our entire consumer database and it is bounced against the CDC National and State level deceased files to remove any and all persons that have passed away within the last 90 days where their “Estate” is no longer going to receive mail on that persons behalf.