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Address Cleaning / Address Cleansing

The process of correcting and enhancing customer addresses data (consumer or business) against The Royal Mails Postcode Address File (PAF).

Address Management

The management and maintenance of an address database to ensure all postal addresses are complete, up to date and accurate.

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Consumer Segmentation

The division of consumers into homogenous groups based upon specific behavioural or demographic characteristics (e.g. buyer behaviour, age, social class, location etc).

Customer Analysis

The process of interrogating customer data to understand their behavioural (e.g. travel patterns, brand preference, frequency of purchases) or demographic characteristics (age, income, social class) so that product, marketing and network strategies can be devised or realigned.

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Data Audit

The evaluation of a data file to identify its condition and to identify where it can be corrected, improved and enhanced. Data Audits are common practice in database marketing to ensure any data relating to a customer or prospect is correct (e.g. name, address, date of birth etc).

Data Cleaning

Data Cleaning is the process of correcting or removing erroneous (dirty) data, i.e. data that is incorrect, out-of-date, redundant, incomplete, or formatted or keyed incorrectly. A company would wish to clean its data to:

  • Reduce mailing wastage
  • Cut mailing costs
  • Reduce customer distress
  • Improve brand image
  • Improve match rates to other data

Data Controller (Data Protection Act)

A person who determines the purposes for which, and the manner in which, personal information is to be processed. This may be an individual or an organisation and the processing may be carried out jointly or in common with other persons.

Data Enhancement / Data Enrichment

The process of adding value to a marketing database by enriching existing data with a fresh source of variables about the consumers listed to assist with advanced analysis, segmentation and targeting.

Data Processing

Any automated computer process that converts data into a consistent and usable format which can provide information or knowledge.

Data Processor (Data Protection Act)

A person, who processes personal information on a data controller's behalf. Anyone responsible for the disposal of confidential waste is also included under this definition.

Data Protection Act

An Act of Parliament which protects the rights of the consumer in respect of personal information about him/her.

Data Subject (Data Protection Act)

This is the living individual who is the subject of the personal information (data).


The matching and elimination of identical or near identical names and addresses from one or multiple databases.

Delimited File

A text file with data fields separated by a delimiter; the most common being comma or tab. This format is accepted by most applications – including Microsoft Access and Excel.

Delivery Point Suffix (DPS)

A DPS is a two character code that identifies each premise that can receive mail in the country. Combined with the Postcode it is a unique identifier for a letterbox.

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Edited Electoral Roll

The names and addresses of individuals remaining on the Electoral Register after those who have chosen to opt out (or have been forced to opt out) have been removed.

Electoral Roll

A list of all individuals in UK collated by local authorities who are eligible to vote.

Electoral Roll verification

The use of the electoral roll to confirm an individuals presence at a specified residence.

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Forename Level Matching

When merging files together to create a single view or when matching suppression files, Forename Level Matching ensures that the forename, surname and address match. This provides a very secure match but does restrict the number of matches you can make if many of your records do not have a full forename.

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Describes an individual who no longer resides at their previous address, i.e. has 'gone away'.

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Initial Level Matching

When merging files together to create a single view or when matching suppression files, Initial Level Matching ensures that the initial, surname and address all match. This level provides a good match but it is not always possible to be absolutely sure that the same person has been matched. For example you might have two records that say Mr J Dobson. In fact Mr Jack Dobson and Mr Jay Dobson have the same initial but it would be wrong to say that they are the same person.

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Lifestyle data

Lifestyle data is collected by the use of surveys and questionnaires, providing companies with consumer intelligence that can be used to enhance customer understanding and target customer and prospect communications more effectively.

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Postcode Address File.

Personal Data (Data Protection Act)

Information about a living individual who can be identified from that information and other information which is in, or likely to come into, the data controller's possession.


A coding system created and used by the Royal Mail across the UK for the purpose of sorting mail. They are an abbreviated form of the full address, comprised of area, district, sector and unit. Each full postcode is made up of an Outward code and an Inward code. The Outward code is the first half of the postcode and the Inward part is the second half. For example, in ‘LS3 1EP’, the ‘LS3’ is the Outward part and the ‘1EP’ is Inward Code.

Processing (Data Protection Act)

Processing means obtaining, recording or holding the data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on data.

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Random Sample

A sample, which is selected in such a way from a population, that every unit has an equal chance of being chosen.

Risk Scoring

A method which examines a variety of different sources including electoral roll status, credit history and employment status. The purpose of risk scoring is to determine an individual's credit worthiness so that companies make relevant product offerings.

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Salacious Word Screening

The identification of words that may have been maliciously input into a database but which a recipient may find offensive if received on a mailing.

Selection Criteria

Characteristics on which a selection of data is based (e.g. gender, age, transactional history) or a predictive score.

Subject Access Request (Data Protection Act)

Under the Data Protection Act, individuals can ask to see the information about themselves that is held on computer and in some paper records. If an individual wants to exercise this subject access right, they should write to the person or organisation that they believe is processing the data.

Suppression Screening

The process of matching your prospect or customer database against a range of files to omit individuals. Reasons for suppression can include: identifying individuals who have moved away or died, requested not to be mailed, or those that do not fit your required geodemographic or credit risk profile.

Surname Level Matching

When merging files together to create a single view or when matching suppression files, Surname Level Matching ensures that the surname and address match. This can be useful in many situations where confirming the family name is important.

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Tele-appending/ Telematching

Telephone number appending – Adding a valid telephone number to a file of names and addresses, these numbers are usually obtained from the BT OSIS database.

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