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Bell Mobility Makes a Strong Connection Through DataFlux dfPower Studio

  • July 01 2004, 1:00am EDT
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REVIEWER: John Walker, associate director of customer insights and analysis for Bell Mobility.

BACKGROUND: Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) is Canada's largest communications company, providing wireline, wireless, data, Internet and satellite services throughout Canada and parts of the United States. With more than 4 million wireless subscribers, Bell Mobility supports a complete range of innovative wireless communications solutions: PCS and cellular, Web browsing and data, two-way messaging, paging and airline passenger communications services.

PLATFORM: Windows 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Consistent, accurate and reliable data is a cornerstone of many customer outreach efforts. To gain new subscribers, Bell Mobility uses telemarketing and direct mail campaigns to contact and engage prospective customers. We typically receive prospect lists from external sources such as D&B or infoCANADA, requiring us to check for duplicate entries across new and existing databases. Prior to using a dedicated data management technology, we used SQL code to create the matching procedures that helped eliminate duplicate entries. This was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, and we needed a better tool to quickly build an effective data quality process for contact lists. Bell Mobility looked for a data management solution that could help enhance response rates from our telemarketing and direct mail efforts through better contact information. With a highly accurate list of prospects, Bell Mobility could reach the right customer more often - and build more efficient database marketing campaigns.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Bell Mobility chose dfPower Studio from DataFlux, an end-user solution that gives both business analysts and database administrators the ability to create, manage and enforce data quality initiatives across the enterprise. With dfPower Studio, we can create custom data verification routines to help identify and eliminate duplicate prospect records - and enhance the quality of mailing and telemarketing lists.

STRENGTHS: dfPower Studio has the ability to connect to external data sources and perform matching routines without having to import the data into the software. By foregoing the import/process/export step, matching jobs are completed quickly and easily. With the ability to adjust sensitivity on different matching criteria, we were able to continually refine our matching process and realize ever-improving results.

WEAKNESSES: While the user interface for dfPower Studio is user-friendly, at times the steps the user must follow to create a matching job are not. This can lead to frustration if the user is not yet very familiar with the product. Minor bugs have been discovered in different versions of the software; however, DataFlux has solid procedures for users to report bugs which are often addressed in subsequent versions.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed a data management tool that had high-level matching technology to allow us to compare existing customer data to purchased lists. The technology also had to support automated address validation and verification routines, along with direct connectivity to the data sources to conduct any data quality routines. Another important element was the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the different matching criteria to maximize the effectiveness of the matching routine.

DELIVERABLES: For any company doing large-scale prospecting campaigns, the effectiveness of database marketing programs is based on the quality of data available. dfPower Studio allows us to create cleaner and more accurate lists to drive marketing programs. By performing extensive data quality routines on new and existing contact information, Bell Mobility provided more reliable data to our telemarketing and direct mail groups, allowing us to contact more people than in previous campaigns. With better prospect data, we were able to add more than $1 million CAD (approximately $730,000 USD) in annualized revenue through more effective database marketing campaigns - for a return on investment of more than 1,300 percent. Additionally, dfPower Studio provided the automation that Bell Mobility needed to save time and labor costs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: DataFlux offered exceptional support at the time of initial installation. Bell Mobility received personal attention to ensure the installation went without complication. Full implementation of the product was completed within four business days. DataFlux has also provided continual support through their online support group.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation was available but not needed during implementation.

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