REVIEWER: Charles Blyth, head of business intelligence for CPP Group.

BACKGROUND: The CPP Group Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business offering end-to-end bespoke customer management solutions to multisector business partners designed to enhance their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty while reducing cost to deliver improved profitability. This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary life assistance products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the anxieties associated with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

PLATFORMS: Oracle 10g database for qMDM hub, UNIX Solaris r10 for DataFlux Integration Server and Windows XP Professional for dfPower Studio (design environment).

PROBLEM SOLVED: Historically, our means of integrating and managing customer data was outsourcing our customer data integration efforts such as customer matching to a hosted third party. Beyond the cost of working with a third-party provider, we didn’t have the flexibility needed to really maximize the value of our data. To do so required bringing those capabilities in-house. We had numerous data sources without quality standards, including two legacy policy systems with customer records in both, a separate customer relationship management system and in-bound data received from our customers each day across our five key business entities – policies, business partners, customers, marketing campaigns and products. We aimed not only to provide a consistent standard of data quality in our data warehousing, but also to bring master data management into our service-oriented architecture environment by integrating data at the front end of all our applications and offering a single point of access for all information.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We used DataFlux qMDM for Customer Data to standardize, match and profile our customer data. DataFlux dfPower Studio was used for data augmentation with QAS (an address cleansing standard). Within a year of implementing the DataFlux technology, we were able to create a “golden record” for each item of data. We’ve gone from zero to being an MDM hub in an astonishingly short 10 months (the average time is three to five years), with DataFlux qMDM. We used only one full-time and one part-time data architect for the MDM program thanks to DataFlux’s ease of use, product quality and support services. We realized an immediate direct savings of half a million pounds sterling as a result of bringing all our efforts in-house with DataFlux.

STRENGTHS: DataFlux qMDM is unlike other MDM solutions in that it is based on data quality technology and processes across all types of data and applications. The DataFlux qMDM platform can be customized to parse, standardize, validate and verify any type of information required for a particular data governance need. This allowed us to incorporate both accurate, de-duplicated, actionable data, so sales and marketing employees not only have a single, accurate record for each customer, but related data is attached to that record.

WEAKNESSES: As early adopters of the qMDM product, our current production solution employs a weekly batch load to update the database with new and updated records, which takes considerable time to complete. The overall performance of the solution created a number of challenges during the initial development and in the operational environment. It was agreed that further development would be needed to optimize the solution to match the performance requirements needed for more timely updates.  Error catching and fail-safe mechanisms to halt erroneous data traversing through the system was lacking and in need of more out-of-the-box tools and/or processes. Current beta testing of qMDM v2.2 has shown remarkable improvements in data processing time as well as product enhancements in line with our requirements and more.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Out of five vendors reviewed, we chose DataFlux because of its intuitive interface, support on delivery and maintenance, credibility, cost and the company’s willingness to work within critical deployment timelines.

DELIVERABLES: We’re using DataFlux to create a single customer and policy view and improve data governance and management. We developed DataFlux processes to extract, analyze and cleanse core descriptive information (such as business partner, campaign, product, payment method, policy status, etc.). The most significant development has been improving the quality of prospect data received for campaigns.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We had around-the-clock access to DataFlux’s customer consultant management team in the U.K. and to the R&D team in the U.S. We were able to work closely with DataFlux engineers and support personnel to implement our program quickly and cost-effectively.

DOCUMENTATION: Two flavors of documentation were provided. The first was a range of generic “how to implement a qMDM hub,” including data dictionaries, customization documents and user guides. Solution-specific documentation was also delivered for use as an operational manual. Both sets of paperwork fulfilled their purpose.

DataFlux qMDM for Customer Data and DataFlux dfPower Studio

940 NW Cary Parkway, Suite 201
Cary, NC 27513
(919) 447-3000

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