Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Some of the questions we are often asked. Please contact us if you require further assistance.

General

Logging In

Data Security

Input Data and Uploading a File

Matching and Processing Questions

The Output Data

Payment and Pricing

Data Questions

Technical Support




General

    What is improvemydata.com?

    improvemydata.com is the new online data enhancement and cleansing service from Callcredit Marketing Solutions. Combining speed with ease of use it is arguably the most efficient and effective solution of its kind on the market today! To find out more click here

    I only have a 56k dialup connection. Will I still be able to use the improvemydata.com service?

    Yes, but depending on the size of the file, it may take a while to upload the data to our servers.

    How many phone numbers can you append to my data?

    Again, this depends entirely on the data. If your file is of people on your database who you don't have a phone number for, then this is probably for a good reason. Either they are Ex-Directory, only have a mobile and not a land line, or the phone could be in someone else's name - perhaps a housemate or partner. Or maybe the data is old, and they've moved on or died.

Logging In

    I can't log in. What am I doing wrong?

    The password is case sensitive. Please ensure that you haven't got caps-lock on. Your account may not have been activated. Have you received an email confirming this? Your account may have been locked for some reason. Please click here for details of how to contact us if you are still having problems.

Data Security

    Is my data secure?

    Yes, information transferred from your PC to our service is encrypted using 128bit SSL.

    Are my credit card details secure?

    We will not store any of your credit card details. Any information that is passed from your browser, to us, and from us to our payment servers is encrypted using 128-bit encryption.

Input Data and Uploading a File

    How can I reduce the time it takes to upload my file?

    The smaller the file, the quicker the upload. If you want to reduce the upload time, then remove fields from the file that contain extra information that is not relevant for the cleansing. We recommend that you supply a URN so you can match any returned data back to your database, the name, address and postcode fields, the phone number if you require it TPS screening, and email address for syntax checking. Any other fields are not used in the processing, so can be left out. It's also worth remembering that fixed width records have spaces padding out each field, and so are much bigger than the same data in a delimited format, so tab or comma delimited files will be quicker.

    What is a 'field delimiter'?

    This is the letter or 'character' that separates the fields in your data. If a file is named '.csv' then this will be a comma. Quite often if the file is named '.txt' it will be a 'tab'.

    What does 'fixed width' mean?

    Fixed width records do not have a comma or a tab to separate each field. Instead, each field is padded out with spaces to a certain length, which means that all the fields are in line with each other if you view the data in a text editor such as 'notepad'. This makes the file much larger than a delimited file, as there is lots of extra space 'characters' in the file.

    How do I 'map' the fields?

    Each field on your file needs to be pointed to a field in the improvemydata.com system. Select a field from the drop-down list next to your data. improvemydata.com will try to map the fields automatically, but you will need to check these are correct, and alter if necessary.

    I don't have a postcode field in my file, so I can't map to the 'Postcode' field. What should I do?

    Don't worry. Ideally, these should be in a specific field, and the process will be more effective if this is the case, however, the system will try to find the postcode in the other address lines if it's not present in the postcode field.

    I have more than 7 address lines, what should I do?

    The system will only accept 6 address lines and a postcode. If the county or country are in specific fields, then you can ignore these by selecting '- Do not map this field -'

    The name information in my records is in a single field. What should I do?

    Ideally, you should provide the name in its separate parts, however we appreciate this is not always available. If you only have a single name field, this should be mapped to the 'Full Name' field. The system will split the name into its component parts order to carry out the processing, however please ensure that the name is presented in the format you would expect to see printed on an envelope.

    Why does it take so long to upload my file? When I send a file on an email, it goes straight away!

    If you access your email through an exchange server or similar, when you attach a large file to an email and click send, even though it seems like it's been sent, it's just been passed to the exchange server. From here, the file will take roughly the same amount of time to transfer, it's just that the server is sending the file, rather than your PC.

    Can I process my Access database files?

    Yes, but if your Access file contains more than one table, you will have to pick which one you want to process.

Matching and Processing Questions

    How many matches will there be to the suppression files?

    The simple answer is we don't know! It depends on the data - the quality of the names and addresses, how recently was it captured, what is the demographic of the people on your file, is it a prospect or a customer file? Why not just try it though. Simply upload your data and get the Free Data Audit Report it and it will tell you!

    I have more than 1 phone number in my file. Can I screen all of them against the TPS?

    Yes, you can screen up to 5 phone numbers against the TPS.

    What levels of de-duplication are available?

    Household
    Surname
    Initial-Surname
    Forename-Surname
    Record ID / URN
    Phone Number
    Email Address

    What level of matching is used for the various reference files?

    The system will match using all the information you provide. If you provide the name 'J Bloggs', this will match to Jane Bloggs, Mr Joe Bloggs.
    If you provide 'Mr Smith', this will match to John Smith, J Smith, but not Julie Smith.

    Can the service append a salutation field to my record?

    Yes, a salutation field e.g. "Dear Mr Smith" and contact field e.g. "Mr J Smith" can be generated and appended to the output data.

    I select the same options every time I use the service. Is there a way to save my options?

    Yes. At the bottom of the 'required services' page, there is a 'save template' checkbox. Tick this and you can save the services under a name of your choosing, for future use. Next time you visit, these templates will be available for selection at the top of the same screen.

    What are XD numbers?

    A person can choose to be excluded from the phone book, and prevent people from obtaining their phone number by going XD or Ex-Directory. There is a records on BT's OSIS database, which confirms that the person on your file has a phone line, but we can't tell you anything else - just that the number is XD. This can be very useful in confirming that a number you hold is likely to still be active, or that it's worth sending something in the post.

    How many records can I process in one job?

    Theoretically, there is no limit. However, we would recommend, that if you want to process more than 1,000,000 records, you should speak to a member of the team, who can provide a more dedicated service. Also, a file of 1m records could be as large as 150MB which may take a while to upload. We would suggest splitting the file into more manageable chunks and processing them individually. Alternatively, you may wish to send the data to us on a CD, and we can handle the processing for you in our bureau.

    How fast is improvemydata.com?

    This depends on the number of records you upload, how many other jobs we are processing and also the number of services that you have requested.

    Up to 1m records, we can guarantee to process your data within 48 hours, however you will generally find that it will take a lot less.

    These are our typical processing times:

    VolumeServiceTime
    100k recordsTPS Screening< 5 minutes
    100k recordsTelephone Number Appending & TPS5-10 minutes
    100k recordsFull Service15-20 minutes
    500k recordsTPS Screening10 minutes
    500k recordsTelephone Number Appending & TPS30 minutes
    500k recordsFull Service1 hour
    1m recordsFull Service2-3 hours


The Output Data

    My phone numbers are missing the leading zero. What's happened to them?

    If you have opened the file in Excel, it may have interpreted the telephone numbers as a numeric value - and removed the leading zero. If you open the file in a text editor, such as notepad, you should see the zeros are still there. One way to get around Excel stripping off the zero is this: rename the file from '.csv' to '.txt'. Open the file via the file menu in Excel rather than double clicking on the file's icon. A 'text import wizard' should start - this will allow you to specify that the phone number field is 'text' rather than 'general'. Please see the help within Excel if you require further information.

    In what format will the processed data be?

    The processed data will be in the same format as you supplied the data in. If you uploaded a delimited file, and there wasn't a header record on the data, then we will add one to help identify the extra detail.

    How long is my data available for download?

    Your data will be available for 7 Days. You will receive a notification when your data is available to download, then a reminder the day before it will be deleted. After this, the data will need to be processed again.

    I've lost the file I downloaded the other day. Can I download it again, or do I have to pay for another job?

    Don't worry. You can download the data as often as you like within 7 days of receiving the 'job complete' email.

    How do I get my processed data?

    After receiving the 'job complete' email, you will need to log back in to the website, accept the final cost. After this, the link labelled 'download data' will become active. Click this then choose 'Save' and you can download the data to your computer or network.

    What fields will be present in the processed data?

    Please click here to open the PDF document detailing the output data.

Payment and Pricing

    I process a lot of data, will I receive a discount?

    After registration, a member of the sales team will be able to discuss the discounts that we can apply to your account

    Why can't I get an accurate cost when I submit a job?

    It's not possible to know how many suppression matches there will be before the processing is performed. There are many factors that can affect this. (see above)

    How much will it all cost?

    Once you run a Free Audit Report the email returned to you will detail the full costs involved in processing your file. The final cost depends on many factors; for example the number of records, the age of the data, the demographic of the people on your file, whether it's a prospect or customer file. We can tell you how much it will cost to process the records, but not how many matches there will be to the various reference files - there is a royalty due to the owner of each dataset, and this cannot be waived.

    Is there a monthly charge to use improvemydata.com?

    No.

    Am I under any obligation to use improvemydata.com?

    No.

    How do I pay for the improvemydata.com service?

    You can pay by credit card or receive a monthly invoice - this will be discussed with you by one of the team after you register.

    Can I pay by credit card?

    Yes you can. An account manager will contact you after registration to discuss your requirements.

    What credit cards do you accept?

    We accept Visa, Visa-Delta, Visa-Electron, Mastercard, Maestro and Solo.

    Is there a minimum charge for each job?

    Yes. This is currently £25.00.

Data Questions

    What services are offered in improvemydata.com?

    The services available in improvemydata.com are listed on the services page.

    Why are so many of the phone numbers on the TPS?

    As of May 2012 there were approximately 17.5 million records on the TPS. The proportion of phone numbers on your file, that are on the TPS can depend on the type of person on the file, or whether the list has been screened before.

    Where do you obtain the email addresses from?

    We gather our email addresses from a number of contributor sources where consumers have supplied their email address online and have given consent for it to be used for marketing purposes.

    How many times can I use the emails?

    Any email appends can be used perpetually.

    Do you have any mobile numbers for appending?

    We have a vast volume of mobile numbers available for appending to your customer and prospect files. Please contact us for further information.

Technical Support

    Do you offer technical support via email?

    Yes, you can email helpdesk@improvemydata.com. This is free of charge, and we will endeavour to reply to your query within one working day.

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