CATEGORY: Data Quality, Profiling & Augmentation

REVIEWER: Seenu Srinivasan, senior ETL specialist for La Quinta.

BACKGROUND: La Quinta is one of the most recognized names in the hospitality industry in the United States. La Quinta opened its first hotel in 1968, next door to the San Antonio World's Fair. Since then, the company has grown to be a leader in mid-priced hotels with more than 300 properties in 33 states.

PLATFORMS: La Quinta's application of Trillium operates on Windows 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The hospitality industry is a service-based market, which means all functions revolve around our customers. With more than 300 properties throughout the United States, La Quinta interacts with a vast amount of new and existing customers each day. This, in turn, creates a huge volume of customer information that our company needs to leverage in order to service our customers to the best of our ability. With so much valuable information at stake, La Quinta needed a system that could cleanse and standardize our customer data before being stored in our enterprise customer database. With more than 300 different source systems containing customer data and more than 40,000 records that need to be integrated daily, this is no small task. We needed a system that could clean and standardize name and address data, and de-duplicate our customer data before it enters the master database. Trillium Software was able to provide the data quality tools we required to successfully manage our enterprise customer database with more than 30 million records and provide a complete 360-degree view of our valued customers.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: La Quinta uses the Trillium Software System Informatica Connector to invoke the data quality software through Informatica, the ETL tool we use for data processing within the system. Once the Trillium Software System is called, data passes through its four modules: 1) Converter: primary function is preparing data for standardization; 2) Parser: primary function is standardization of data based on rules; 3) GeoCoder: primary function is address verification; and 4) Matcher: primary function is linking records together. During this process, we apply customized data quality procedures to our customer information with rules tailor-made to fit our infrastructure needs. For instance, we are able to determine which customers should be recognized as one household within the database. Once the integrity of the data is affirmed, we are able to store each customer address only once, which saves our organization from utilizing more IT storage than necessary. We also use the Trillium Software System's reporting function to create detailed reports of customer activity. Later this year, we will begin to link our customer rewards program to our enterprise customer database and start customer segmentation in order to fully leverage the systems for direct marketing activities. The Trillium Software System was already utilized to identify and match customers to promote La Quinta's loyalty program last summer for a seasonal marketing promotion.

STRENGTHS: The Trillium Software System is a very strong product. We have been especially pleased with the solution's ability to conduct multi-matching and reference matching.

WEAKNESSES: The Trillium Software System currently does not have the ability to analyze statistical or mathematical modules.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose Trillium Software to solve our data quality problems based on the software's ability to conduct multi-matching and its reference matching capabilities.

DELIVERABLES: The Trillium Software System enables our customer database to contain a single record for each of our customers, which provides us with a more complete picture of our total relationship with each individual. We base our entire enterprise-wide reporting on that single view from within our customer database.

VENDOR SUPPORT: When purchasing any piece of an IT infrastructure project, some support from the vendor is always needed. With Trillium Software, we received great technical support in a timely fashion.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation that accompanies the Trillium Software Solution is great. We could not have run the product without proper documentation and are very pleased with the easy-to-follow format.

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