The importance of Data Accuracy

Today I have just tried to order flowers for my mother-in-law with an online retailer. She lives in Lincolnshire and as I put in her postcode six addresses appeared. None of these were anywhere near my mother-in-law’s home. I tried again, thinking I had input the postcode incorrectly, and the same result appeared. I became wary of the company’s ability to accurately deliver the flowers to the right address at the right time, so I abandoned my basket and went with a major online brand who did find the correct address first time.

Trust is everything and with so many online retailers to choose from I expect a fast and accurate customer experience. If I don’t get it then I am quick to lose my patience with a brand that doesn’t keep up and I’m not the only one. Consumers expect retailers to give them what they want, when they want.

We know online spending is rising. In 2014 UK Residents spent £107 Billion online, up from £91 Billion in 2013, a rise of 17.58%. 2015 early forecasts show a rise of up to 18.69% which means 2015 will be all about retailers providing the very best user experience they can.

Presenting an accurate address at the checkout is fundamental to the user experience. Delivering to the correct address on time is another. Some of the costs of inaccuracy can be measured, some not. Brand damage cannot be given a cost figure, but it is undoubtedly there. Some lost customers can be accounted for, some not. Some will only show up when the end of year accounts do not quite match expectation.

One of the reasons my mother-in-law’s address came up incorrectly could be attributed to “fuzzy logic” suggesting matches and scoring probability.

There is the debate regarding "fuzzy" versus "rules based" matching. "Fuzzy Logic" allows items of a similar sound, look or close proximity from a keyboard to be accepted as likely. As the term suggests it is not precise and therefore its users are inclined towards the preference system to force a match. "Rules based logic" is the acceptance that certain language or local rules are common mistakes and may apply in given circumstances, otherwise the address is rejected for re-assessment.

Hopewiser is the only address management provider to develop addressing solutions based on the fundamental principle of ‘rules based matching’. This ensures that all addresses identified as valid are 100% correct. Our software does not force the matching of addresses that might be incorrect. Addresses are either right or wrong!