4 Best Practices in Data Append
• Track data accuracy.
Put yourself into the overlay. If you’ve been given permission to track data for a selection of other individuals, add them to every overlay file, as well. When you add people to the list, collect the real data directly from them and record it. The accuracy of the data source can be verified by your own information. For example, your actual DOB might be April 1, 1958. However, if there is no public record with this information, the company might use your spouse’s DOB to infer your age, and it sets your age to 60 rather than 50—a 10-year difference. We expect there to be gaps in information—especially if we take liberal advantage of do-not-mail lists. However, the known data shouldn’t be too far from the real facts.
• Adjust for change of address before getting your next overlay.
Linking the right data to the right person at the right address is important, and your substantial investment in third-party data can only be enhanced if your file goes into the process in the best possible shape.
Lynne Mysliwiec is vice president of analytics at analytic consulting group Epsilon. You can reach her at (781) 685-6211 or via e-mail at email@example.com.