Identity Resolution For Best Match Rates & Unique Pre-Built Profiles

identity resolution

As the proliferation of data continues, identity resolution or entity resolution becomes a topic of greater importance. You may be wondering how such a specific technicality may affect your business. Our in-house expert, Glen Ireland actually answers that question and more on our podcast. Let’s begin with the basics.

Listen to the full podcast here:

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is the process of matching data from multiple sources with one entity. It can also be referred to more generally as entity
resolution. Basically, when several data points are matched with a person and the association is confirmed, it is identity resolution.

For example, let’s say there’s a contact named Eric Smith in your database. You may find out from another data source that Eric Smith has a net worth of $10M. The problem is that there could be ten different people with the name Eric Smith among your contacts. Identity resolution comes in when you need to find the right one to associate the net worth with.

Businesses Can Also Face Identity Loss

Not only does entity resolution affect people, but it also affects organizations. Even if your organization deals with other businesses, identity resolution could become important for you.

For example, your system may have stored IBM as IBM, International Business Machine, and as IBM Corp. When you add new data, you may add each data point to a different entity. In this case, your data will not be able to paint a holistic picture of the entity for you.

In these instances, computers cannot make judgment calls. Human intervention may be needed. Of course, when you try to achieve entity resolution at scale, you can do this through algorithms.

Entity Resolution & Wealth Data Analytics

When it comes to your wealth data analytics, identity resolution becomes paramount. Let’s consider the case of WealthEngine. Identity resolution enables us to pre-form profiles about every adult in the US. These pre-
formed profiles allow WealthEngine to offer solutions like WE Prospect, and WE Analyze.

Furthermore, with entity resolution, you can perform a nationwide quick search. This means you can look up any individual adult in the US or create segments in the WealthEngine database.

Identity resolution lets WealthEngine procure data from several different data sources. So, each data source has its own unique identifier for each person. WealthEngine can then match all these data sources through entity resolution. This helps us build pre-formed profiles and to update and enrich them over time.

WealthEngine invests millions in acquiring high-quality data from different sources. This means you can learn more and more about Eric Smith on your contacts list with WealthEngine. This includes demographics, lifestyle, behavior, interests, and affinities. Our algorithms and data science help make sure that you have up to date and extensive information to work with.

Identity Resolution to Match Vendor & Customer Data

So, how do you match data from different sources and vendors? Although this is a complex process, two basic techniques can be used. For instance, the main attributes we use to match entities are their name and primary address.

A best practice for identity resolution is standardizing the format for names. To illustrate, turn nicknames into formal names, remove any punctuation from names, etc. You may also want to standardize addresses by reformatting them. The format should match deliverable USPS addresses. Those are two basic things that can be done to enable entity resolution.

There are also other sophisticated techniques to accommodate misspellings. We use some of these advanced practices at WealthEngine. For example, a vendor might send a record with a name that’s missing one character. Similarly, there could be a street name that’s missing two characters. In these instances, we use something called edit distance algorithms. We may also use this and similar techniques to accommodate misspellings in first names, last names, or street names when ingesting vendor data.

Advanced Technology for Higher Match Rates

The above were general best practices, but the process becomes complex at scale. Furthermore, as you ingest data from more sources, you need more sophisticated data science to ensure accuracy. WealthEngine’s industry-leading technology means that our clients can enjoy up to 90% match rates.

In fact, clients have confirmed that other analytics solutions offer about 30-60% while WealthEngine can get them to 90%. This is because WealthEngine has spent 20 years coming up with sophisticated techniques beyond the basics.  For example, we can also use attributes like spouse name or business name to increase that metric.

This is important because both husband and wife can make a decision on something. If you’re targeting a specific individual, you may want to bear in mind that the spouse might actually be the decision-maker. These could be decisions about a donation, about buying a particular product, or using a certain financial services firm. With this being the case, it’s very important to have identity resolution be as accurate as possible.

What Happens When There Is No Match

If a record from a vendor cannot be matched to a profile, WealthEngine has to decide whether or not to create a new profile. If the record coming in from the vendor is complete enough, and it seems like a person that is not already in the database, we create a new profile. For instance, there are something like 10,000 17-year-olds turning 18 every day. They would all be eligible for being loaded into the WealthEngine database.

In other situations, a customer record may match multiple profiles. In this instance of entity resolution, let’s say you add some extra pieces of information to WealthEngine. This may cause one customer record to match multiple WealthEngine profiles. Then, WealthEngine appends information from all matching profiles to the customer record to enrich it as much as possible.

Does this work?

Yes, because  WealthEngine sometimes has more than one profile per person. The reason behind this is that we want to shy away from over-merging. This means, you never want to use identity resolution to combine two different people.  WealthEngine tends to err on the side of what’s called under-merging, where one person is represented by multiple profiles in the WealthEngine database. In fact, competing solutions may have greater inaccuracy because of this.

How You Can Benefit From Identity Resolution

Identity resolution ultimately increases the accuracy of information for customers. This means you can simply search for a person and see all their information compiled into a profile. These profiles are built using data from several different sources. Thus, this presents itself as a convenience for you.

Secondly, having reliable entity resolution in place means you get higher match rates. For instance, WealthEngine match rates are very high, at about 90%. So, when you find out that Eric Smith’s net worth is $10M, you can be sure that it is the right person.

Furthermore, you can keep on enriching your contacts’ profiles with more information. With WealthEngine, the enrichment is automated in most cases. There is a small percentage of data that WealthEngine cannot match. However, with a feature called Find More in WealthEngine9, even this has a solution.

If your customer record does not match a WealthEngine profile, we will still store that record in your My Profiles tab. You can then click into the profile and do a manual identity resolution. First, use Quick Search to find what you believe is a match. Then use Find More to merge it into the uploaded record. Doing this, you can increase the match rate up to 100%. No other wealth intelligence solution can help you do this.

Increase Your Match Rate to 100% Starting Today

Take WealthEngine9 for a spin–>

Ethical By Design – Marketing in the Age of Personalization and Privacy

Over the past few years, marketing has experienced a shift. As businesses moved into digital channels, and with the emergence of social media platforms, they were given the opportunity to communicate with customers on an individual level. Although personalized marketing has allowed businesses to understand their customers individually, how ethical is it for businesses to use affinity data to learn more about their consumers?

Momentum always follows money and motivation. In 2017, over $15B had been invested in AI-focused startups. As of this year, that amount has been surpassed and is forecasted to be over $58B by 2021. Industry analysts believe AI-enabled businesses will create over $2.1T worth of business value and generate over 2.3M new jobs while eliminating 1.8M existing jobs. Technology has always been the core of our economic growth, where disruption and business value are constantly created and recreated in a virtuous cycle.

Creating business value is defined by new revenue, new markets, new customer experiences, and cost reductions. Although the needs of the consumer are the main focus, their personal values seem to fade into the back as companies digitally transform. How do we unlock business value that also serves the beliefs of the greater good? Creating this balance can be challenging.

AI-enabled experience economies, for example, face this challenge. However, these technologies come with self-learning techniques, so they are able to seamlessly gather and sift through information on individuals and their interests. Although this data provides businesses with the ability to understand and persuade consumers on a personal level, without human judgment and intervention things can go awry. We will need a moral and ethical playbook for the practice of personalization.

Data is our frenemy. It’s our fuel. It’s also the basis of the Information Age.

Consider Facebook, Google, and WhatsApp’s business models. We don’t value them simply because they’re free. We value them because they adapt to our needs and values. These platforms allow us to connect with our external environment by adapting to our behaviors, and subsequently suggesting where we should go, who we should meet, and what we should do all day, every day.. It is free because businesses realize, in the long run, that having and subsequently monetizing your data is much more valuable than having you pay for their services.

Although these platforms make daily life easier, we are collectively subsidizing our personal data for access to free browsers, searches, ratings, and reviews. Digital social platforms, in some cases, have been able to manipulate this data to influence our way of thinking and being instead of serving us what we have consented to. This helps businesses understand your values and provide you with items that may be of high value to you. Data, in that sense, helps businesses and users cut through the digital noise, and provides us with an experience that feels more gratifying and focused. Instead of having to enter our information constantly, or searching for related items, we are given recommendations that are just a click away.

Well, Data is still your frenemy. But, so is Personalization.

So that begs a few questions: Where are our ethical boundaries in our data usage? What are the gray areas? Who gets to store, share, secure, and govern our data? Who decides? It is our responsibility to be vigilant and to remain aware of how and where our data is being used.

Ethics isn’t a pile of red tape that we have to maneuver around in order to forge connections. Ethics is the system upon which our businesses and technological systems should be designed-in.

In the conquest for privacy, personalization takes a hit.

In the quest for personalization, individual freedoms take a hit.

So what does ethical marketing look like? That will be the focus of our series on ethical marketing and personalization. Why? Because it’s personal.

Elegant and Simple: 5 Benefits of Integrating Wealth Data into Your Processes

Blog Integration.png

WealthEngine solutions provide rich wealth and lifestyle insights to help you understand your current donors or customers and prospects better. Our rich data can help you personalize your outreach and improve your sales, marketing, and fundraising efficiency.

Here are 5 benefits of integrating our wealth and lifestyle insights into your everyday processes.

  • Help your entire department understand your existing customers or donors better. Wouldn’t it be nice to better understand your audience at a glance with a 360 degree view of their wealth, lifestyle, demographics, and contact information?
     
  • Maximize the effectiveness of your outreach efforts by targeting the right people with the right products or asks. Our solutions help you segment our those who have the greatest capacity and propensity to spend or give at your company or organization.
     
  • See deeper insights into what makes your audience tick. This will allow you to personalize your messaging ensuring your communications are resonating with the audience and increasing the effectiveness of your outreach.
     
  • Leverage reporting and tracking metrics for a more accurate and complete review of your efforts. This will satisfy leadership and help identify a significant increase in ROI.
     
  • Create wide spread buy-in into the effectiveness of using wealth intelligence to improve your sales, marketing, or fundraising efforts. Our rich data provides what you need to confidently and effectively segment prospects and personalize outreach. This will increase the efficiency of the department and streamline your processes to help you build pipeline and close deals or gifts quicker.

Take advantage of these simple solutions to drive sales or donations in 2018. Why continue doing the same things over and over expecting a different result? Instead, take this opportunity for a fresh start and a renewed approach to fundraising, sales, and marketing success. Contact us today to learn more.

 

6 Ways to Maximize Your Holiday Marketing

Holiday-Spending-Blog.png

As summer comes to a close, the holiday season is fast approaching! What is your brand doing to prepare for the holiday rush? Consumers will be ready to spend. What data are you using to segment your customer base and supercharge your marketing efforts? Do you know the customers or prospects that can afford the products you sell?

Below are some helpful tips from WealthEngine for marketers to execute a flawless holiday season marketing campaign:   

  • Start you holiday marketing early to raise awareness ahead of the holiday season. This way when customers are ready to purchase, your brand is top of mind!
  • Segment your audiences using wealth and lifestyle intelligence to ensure the appropriate message goes to the right consumer.
  • Create multi-channel marketing campaigns (email, snail mail, banner ads, etc.) that have continuous impressions to achieve maximum results.
  • It’s never too late to put together an effective marketing campaign. Using relevant data to inform your decision making will supercharge your efforts. Don’t be afraid to get other departments in your company psyched about the holiday push and let them know how they can help you best.
  • While considering new market trends, always review what worked well last holiday season and plan to replicate your previous successes. How can you optimize what already works using new data?
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to be bold and take chances. The holiday season can be a frantic rush of consumer decisions and the brands that stand out will win the consumer’s attention.

For more information and help preparing for your Holiday season, contact WealthEngine today. 

The Final Four of Wealthy Individuals

WE-Final-Four-Blog-Image.png

Depending on who you ask, it’s quite possibly one of the best times of the year – the NCAA basketball tournament. In the spirit of the competition we decided to take a look at the wealthy individuals in the city each university in the Final Four is located. Specifically, we looked at the number of men and women with a net worth greater than $1MM. How did the cities stack up? Take a look at the infographic below.

Try our free trial of WE Prospect to see how your team’s city compares to the Final Four.

An Analytical Approach to Wealth Intelligence: How Luxury Brands Can Grow Market Share Using Predictive Analytics and Modeling

Analytical_Cover_LinkedIn.png

Wealth intelligence allows luxury marketers to truly understand the affluent consumer and their wealth, demographic and lifestyle attributes. This insight is critical, as marketers work to build targeted marketing strategies that reach the most qualified consumers with compelling offers and a seamless brand experience.

The global market for luxury goods represents over $1 trillion USD, across several categories including fashion, retail, travel, hotels, food & beverage, and spas. The key to understanding customer segments within these categories is through data and analytics.

We know that by using data and predictive analytics, luxury marketers have a means to better target and engage their customers. Data and predictive analytics allow you to uncover opportunities to drive repeat or additional purchases so you can create a closer tie to the customer. Analytics allow you to truly understand the customer and their wealth attributes, so you can target the most qualified luxury consumers and offer a compelling and seamless brand experience.

With this in mind, we developed this whitepaper to show the value of wealth intelligence and predictive analytics when developing an effective marketing strategy.

Key topics in this whitepaper include:

  • Today’s trends and challenges for luxury marketers looking to grow your business
  • WealthEngine’s unique approach to developing and utilizing wealth scores
  • Best practices and practical tips for applying custom predictive analytics
  • Determining the optimal solution to meet your goals

To read more about these topics download An Analytical Approach to Wealth Intelligence: How Luxury Brands Can Grow Market Share Using Predictive Analytics and Modeling.

Three Ways to Stimulate your Data Collection

Data-BlogImage-12-08-16.jpg

We all know the finest prospects are those who align themselves with your mission, have great wealth and donate – the perfect trifecta. However, when shopping for new prospects, how do you know who will meet this criteria? 

By using multiple data collection strategies, you create an efficient prospect pool. Using the tools available to you can maximize your gifts and streamline your campaign. In a WealthEngine survey, 92% of all organizations, responding, indicated they use some proactive research practices. This figure leapt to 100% among high-performing organizations; 65% of these high-performing organizations use all three of these techniques.

These three methods will help you gather new data and information about potential prospects: predictive modeling, peer screening, and wealth screening.  

Predictive Modeling
Predictive modeling is the creation of a model to predict the probability of an outcome.  It sounds complicated, but the truth is we use predictive modeling every day. Your email spam folder uses a model to predict if an incoming email is spam. Your FICO score (a commonly used credit score) is a predictive model. Your organization can use predictive models and analytics to:

  • Identify new prospects
  • Define optimal “ask” levels for next gifts
  • Develop inclination and/or affinity ratings
  • Segment constituents for multiple fundraising purposes and prioritize prospects within segments

Peer Screening
Peer screening is a technique that leverages your organization’s VIPs.  Your VIPs review lists of their peers to rate their ability to donate, their connection to the organization and their interest in its mission. A few of the potential benefits include:

  • Discover new prospects and feed the prospect pipeline
  • Qualify and quantify current capacity and inclination ratings
  • Educate and generate support among volunteers and stakeholders developing a “culture of philanthropy”
  • Create organization-wide buy-in for fundraising priorities among internal constituencies

Wealth Screening
Wealth screening is the practice of comparing a prospective list to one or more data sources. This information helps you:

  • Qualify ratings on prospects
  • Qualify lesser known prospects
  • Identify new prospects
  • Determine capacity and inclination ratings for all prospects

Wealth screening, peer screening and data modeling are three ways to help you build a winning fundraising strategy and find that perfect trifecta criteria in your donors and prospects. Check out our workbooks Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytical Approach to Data-Driven Success.

5 Benefits of Real-time Wealth Insights Through an API – Infographic

Infographic-BLog.png

The key to engaging prospects and rising above the noise is targeting the right people and personalizing your offers and calls to action. In order to do this effectively you need to have access to real-time insights.

We’ve put together this infographic with five suggestions to give your engagement strategies a boost.

To get more information on how you can leverage real-time wealth insights download our full eBook now – 5 Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights.

Why Do Donors Give? Eight Ways to Communicate the Right Messages to Your Donors

Donor-Giving.png

As the end of the year approaches and the giving season ramps up, donors find themselves giving more to their favorite charities. As Giving USA reports, charitable giving continues to rise, in part because of growth in several key economic factors, including: personal consumption, personal income, disposable personal income, GDP, and corporate pre-tax profits.

This information can help your organization better target your prospects as the year comes to an end. Proactively identifying and understanding the prospects in your organization’s constituent file can help you craft the right message for all of your prospects. Look for those who have given gifts of appreciated stock in the past, those who have donated larger gifts, those with higher salaries, or those with a higher net worth. If you don’t know who in your file meets these criterion, WealthEngine offers tools and services to let you easily sift through and identify your prospects.

Once you’ve identified the donors in your database who may be ready to give, think about what motivates them. Donors are moved to give by more than just extra income and tax incentives. Donors give to:

  1. Causes that align with their philanthropic goals
    Make sure your communications make clear who you are and outlines your mission.

  2. Causes whose stories resonate with them in a personal and emotional way
    Stories of people impacted by your nonprofit or first-hand witnesses to your nonprofit’s impact are winners.

  3. Organizations they respect and trust
    There are several sites that rate charities. If you have their seal of approval, display it. Testimonials from well-known members in your community also inspire trust.

  4. People they respect and trust
    Make sure your board members, and high level staff, are listed prominently on your website and other communications.

  5. Organizations they believe are having a high impact and are effective in addressing their mission
    Make sure you quantify, to the fullest extent possible, the impact you are having in your field of endeavor.

  6. Organizations that ask for gifts to further their mission
    Make sure to ask for gifts for a mission that the donor wants to give to; mission, not overhead!

  7. Charities that make giving easy by providing multiple ways to give and who send messages via multiple channels
    Make giving as easy as possible, with fewer “clicks,” and streamlined response vehicles.

  8. Charities that make donors feel appreciated and glad they contributed
    Stewardship may be the most important factor of all.  Don’t let any of your donors lapse because you didn’t thank them.  Appreciation is essential.

If your nonprofit is looking to maximize year-end giving, it’s not too late to craft messages that resonate with your supporters and prospects. Target those whose incomes have likely risen due to economic growth, and appeal to both their emotional and rational selves.

For more on data-driven campaigns, download our workbook: Data-Driven Major Gift Campaigns Workbook.

“If We Build It, They Will Come”: The Magical Thinking Syndrome

Build-Blog-Image.png

Let’s spend this week diving into a story.

Three years into a stalled capital campaign, an arts nonprofit finally engineered bond financing in order to build the facility that the then-executive director and the board were determined to have.  A consultant was hired, changes were made, but despite all that, the campaign wasn’t completely successful.  Now, with the building built and five years removed from the campaign, the organization is saddled with bond debt and the board has decided that another campaign is called for – to retire the bond debt from the first campaign.

When do you think the last time the development office did a full screening of the organizational database?  Eight years ago, because the board won’t authorize money in the budget to do so.

What is wrong with this picture?
The board in question is relatively high-performing. Most have given six-figure gifts toward the new effort.  But the board expects the development director to go back to prior campaign donors for more donations and somehow magically keep the annual fund on a growth path, all without additional resources.  What’s worse is they now have a thriving membership program but have no idea about the capacity and inclination of their members.
We have seen it time and time again here at WealthEngine.  It’s like the movie “Field of Dreams” – but without the happy ending.

A board, or a president, or an executive director thinks, “If we build this facility, we can serve more people.” 

Or, a board will say: “Well, if we have all given a six-figure gift to this cause, then there will be sixty other people in town who will do the same,”

Or worse:  “We just need to find 1,000 people to give us $1,000.” 

They will disregard a feasibility study that warns against an ambitious goal, launch a campaign, and double the goal for good measure, then blame the fundraising team for not achieving the impossible.

This is magical thinking.
Unfortunately, it’s so common, that we call it the Magical Thinking Syndrome.

Does your organization have the ability to absorb the additional operating expenses a new facility will incur – even if you successfully raise the entire amount you need?  It costs money to pay additional staff, keep the lights on, pay for upkeep and additional supplies, add insurance costs, etc.  Your board is undoubtedly made up of hard-working, generous, well-meaning individuals who are correct about one thing: Of course there are likely to be people with high capacity.   But do those people share the board member’s inclination to give a gift to a particular organization?  Are they one of the “usual suspects” in the community to whom every nonprofit, large, medium and small, goes with their hand out? And, quite frankly, where is a fundraiser to find 1,000 people willing to donate $1,000 to a particular nonprofit?

Boards and visionary executives aren’t the only ones complicit in this dilemma.  Some fundraising professionals take the “glass half empty” approach and won’t advocate for themselves or their staff to be given the resources with which to do their job.  They spend their 60 and 70 hour weeks packing more and more things into their schedule with the same results.

Without screening donor data, fundraisers have no actionable information with which to work.  It’s like throwing someone deep into Carlsbad Caverns, turning off all of the lights, and expecting her to find her way out — in less than an hour. 
The mountaineer, Eric Alexander best known for leading his blind friend, Erik Weihenmayer to Mt. Everest’s 29,035 foot summit, wouldn’t consider setting out without a map, a plan and a strategy for meeting all the possible scenarios.

Neither should fundraisers.

And boards (or senior staff) shouldn’t expect them to.

Even before embarking on a traditional feasibility study, a data or wealth screening, along with a major gift model and planned gift model, should be conducted.  Wedding the best of data analytics with personal conversations can provide lasting return and insight on where your organization stands in the community and where it ranks in your donors’ philanthropic priorities.

The return on investment for a data screening can easily outweigh the modest cost. To learn more download WealthEngine’s white paper, Measuring Fundraising Return on Investment and the Impact of Wealth Intelligence.

In fact, think about including it in your board packets for the next meeting.

A few questions to ask when considering a capital campaign:

  • Can our nonprofit absorb the additional costs of a larger facility, including furnishings, fixtures, overhead, additional salaries, insurance, utilities, upkeep and more?
  • Is there an endowment in place to provide a financial cushion for these items?  Or, is an endowment part of the proposed campaign goal?
  • Can you spend money to raise money?  (In other words, is there a commitment from the board and key leadership to create a campaign budget, including additional staff, data screening, donor recognition and other essential elements?)
  • When was the last time you did a thorough screening of your constituent database?
  • Have you had major gift and planned gift models run?

Do you have a similar story to share? Let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about data-driven capital campaigns read our new workbook and listen to our webinar.