CATEGORY: Data Quality, Profiling & Augmentation
REVIEWER: Mike van Thiel, chief technology officer for Exoro Information, Inc.
BACKGROUND: Exoro Information, Inc., headquartered in Utah, is a leading provider of political data products. The company delivers high-quality products and solutions to assist campaigns, special interest groups and political parties in meeting their political objectives. By providing actionable information and a variety of solutions, Exoro Information is able to move beyond the typical list services provided by other companies and meet all their clients' data and information needs.
PLATFORMS: Exoro Information runs DataLever's software on Windows Server 2003 as well as Windows XP.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Exoro Information collects and integrates a variety of political data files from a wide range of sources. These data files include voter registration lists, frequent voters, voter IDs, caucus attendees, political activists, elected officials, previous election results and several private data sources. The raw data sources come in varying formats and different states of cleanliness. They must be scrubbed, standardized and matched before they can be loaded into the large political data warehouse that forms the backbone of our business. Before adopting DataLever's technology, this was an arduous task that took weeks to develop, days to run and didn't always have the high quality results we require for our data warehouse.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We reviewed and tried a variety of solutions ranging from large ETL packages to smaller name matching, geocoding and address certification libraries. Although all tools had the capabilities to solve some of our needs, none of them offered all the tools, and none of them were as easy to use and powerful as DataLever's product offering. DataLever's powerful data profiling and pattern matching components, together with their high-quality CASS certification, geocoding and name matching capabilities, provide us with an extended level of data quality that we were not able to achieve with other tools. Also, having all the functionality in one product, instead of having to integrate a variety of tools from different vendors, saved us significant time and money.
STRENGTHS: One of DataLever's greatest strengths is its powerful visual interface, which allows us to intuitively and quickly create very complex data transformations. These transformations can be stored in macros, which can be used in any other process as if they were native DataLever components. Many companies offer CASS certification, geocoding, name matching or data manipulation, but it is rare to find all of these powerful tools in one suite while maintaining the highest quality of results from all these components.
WEAKNESSES: We would like to incorporate some of our other legacy ETL processes into the new DataLever processes; at this point, it is not possible to do this. DataLever promises to add the ability to integrate external third-party calls to their repertoire shortly.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The solution we were looking for needed to support all facets of high data quality including data manipulation, address standardization, geocoding, spatial analyses and complex record matching. DataLever was the only company to offer all these options in one easy-to-use, exceptionally high-quality tool.
DELIVERABLES: The main deliverables were the DataLever application, the CASS certification software and the geocoding engine.
VENDOR SUPPORT: DataLever has provided us with excellent support to get through the initial phase of becoming familiar and proficient with the tool.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is extensive and covers everything from simple data manipulations to complex low-level programming.
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