What’s in a name?

Often more than you think! Yes, bet you didn’t know that data could be quite so Shakespearean and poetic…

romeo and juilliet

Sorry, just getting your hopes up, but moving forward!

Everybody writes out their names differently, some go with their whole shabang and others decided to go for the more mysterious initial so we see so many types of ways to write a name when we receive a database.

We often see data with a single field for names which contain records such as “Mr & Mrs K & E Smythe MBE – 01234 567890 (Call after 7pm)”

Lots of useful information in there, but not so good if you’re trying to do any sort of automated marketing or even a simple mail merge.

Even databases that store the name split up into title, forename and surname will often contain spurious data such as single dots to fill out required fields, or email addresses used in place of names. Some even have just XX where people haven’t actually found out someone’s name. Shocking I know, but that’s a whole different blog.

We’ve recently made a significant upgrade to our technology (super exciting) which allows us to make sense of this sort of information and get your data back to you in a much more structured, organised and formatted way that you can use for your marketing campaigns. With this service, we can split this data into individual fields:

Name 1 Title Mr
First Name K
Last Name Smythe
Suffix MBE
Name 2 Title Mrs
First Name E
Last Name Smythe
Telephone 01234 567890
Notes Call after 7pm

We can also help make sure your messages are addressed correctly, so if you have a name of Sir Alan Sugar or Lord Alan Sugar we will generate the salutations Sir Alan or Lord Sugar appropriately. Even without having nobility in your database we will generate formal and informal salutations for you to use based on the amount of name information you have on each record, ensuring that your messages have the most appropriate introduction available. Because who would want to offend anyone by calling them ‘miss’ instead of ‘princess’? Bit extreme, but you know what I mean.

DataQualityReport (002)

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