The purpose of this communiqué is to bring you up to date with what is going on in the world of Intimate Data in terms of what we have been working on over the last year or so and how it should benefit you, our customer, in your business.
There have been three main thrusts, the first looking at improving the effectiveness of our Intimate Value product range, the second looking at enhancing our product offering of consenting prospects to our list broking and bureau clients, and the third looking at improving, simplifying and actively managing the communication between Intimate Data and its clients or associates, specifically in relation to queries or requests, etc.
It has long been our ambition to validate an individuals address details down to a name at a number on a street within a specific suburb. Of course this is not a simple task when one considers that many people within the same or different families can live at the same address. Added to which is the fact that many people do not record an address until they become commercially active plus a high percent of the population moves to new addresses every year. In South Africa this amounts to 20% on average, of which a good number don’t advise all their associates of their new address. Added to this, many people only use a PO Box address and some dwelling areas have no official addressing structure. Of course you already know this as you see it all the time in the ever-increasing cost of returned mail or the frustration in tracking debtors, etc.
Our strategy has been to tackle the overall initiative in small logical steps ensuring that the base foundations are correct before moving to the next level. We have therefore broken our business solution into three modules with one project aimed at validating and correcting streets names and also validating that PO Box numbers fall within the SAPO PO Box ranges, a second aimed at collating all the street numbers of each building / dwelling on every street in South Africa, including their X and Y (geo code) map reference points, and a third aimed at constructing a data base of individual residency information / history which will track the street information linked to an individual over time from their current address back into history. Each of the modules also has a subsystem that ensures that the original base data is kept up to date as new developments occur such as the tracking of new street / housing developments and a methodology to facilitate, nationally, a simple process allowing individuals to update and notify their associates of a change of address, from their home or office, at a time of their convenience. Due to the vast amount of resource required to meet our end objective in terms of data and man effort, we have taken on strategic partners where necessary.
Although we have been working on the projects simultaneously, our objective is to launch the street / box level product first followed by numbers within a street and its associated facilities followed by the individual residency history. All the projects are at an advanced stage of development or already in alpha test.
In terms of infrastructure, we initially collated from a number of sources, a Street Dictionary housing some 180,000 different streets, roads, crescents and avenues, etc. Even though we overlaid the multiple sources our audits reflected an error rate of approximately 5%, which we deemed to be an unacceptable risk to our clients. To eliminate this, we have for the past 6 months been, in conjunction with our strategic partner, running an audit where every street name in our dictionary is being validated, on site, individually by human eye. Our point of reference is that the “street name” sign as noted by the individuals living in the street is the correct name. In respect of our residency database we have, again with a strategic partner, collated some 35,3 million names (including ID numbers), 13,3 million street and box addresses, and formulated 42 million links or associations between the two.
In terms of enhancing the communication flow and follow-up of issues with our clients, we have developed a web-based system, Intimate_Tracker. This system allows the user to log an issue for action by INTIMATE DATA (or visa-versa) and tracks the issue relative to a specific end-date. Pending issues can be monitored real-time by either the sender or recipient. Any late issues are automatically highlighted and escalated to a more senior level ensuring that no one item is allowed to fall through the cracks.
Intimate_Tracker is currently in beta testing within the Intimate Data group as well as at a large parastatal client site. It will be launched, free of cost, to all our clients as a value add service once we are happy that it is sufficiently robust and bug free. It is possible that we might make it available as an “off the shelf” business solution for general use at a later stage.
In terms of a detailed presentation and site specific proof of concept for our Street / Box range validation and repair modules, our distributor will be making contact within the next 2 to 8 weeks. However if you wish to arrange an earlier presentation please contact me directly and I will set this up.
Also, should you have any questions in respect to the above or any other matter relating to the Intimate Data group or our products, please feel free to give me a call at any time.