Alliance Unveils New 'Flavor' of Compiled Business, Consumer Data

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As large data compilers continue to grow through mergers and acquisitions, Compiled Solutions and DTB Direct are aiming their compiled list products at mailers seeking an alternative.


Compiled Solutions, Plainsboro, NJ, and DTB Direct, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, formed a strategic alliance to develop a compiled American Consumer Index (Amdex) master file of 136 million individuals and a compiled American Business Index (Busdex) master file of 14 million executives. The files, which took three years to build, will be unveiled this week at DM Days in New York.


The alliance (CSDTB) is being marketed as an alternative to such products as the Polk Lifestyle Selector, Acxiom Infobase List and the American Business Information business database. DTB Direct partner Greg Williams said that unlike some of its competitors that sell the same data in a re-packaged form, CSDTB data will be marketed as original.


"Re-sellers can't create the extracts we can because they don't have access to the data, their own data," Williams said. "We want to break through the clutter and history of the way things are done. Acxiom and Metromail are proven products. Ours is a different flavor because we have control over the data.''


CSDTB declined to provide a list of clients who have tested the new compiled files.


Jennifer MacLean, vice president of marketing for the information services group at Metromail, Lombard, IL, said she wondered how original CSDTB's data is.


"The process of compiling is very complex,'' MacLean said. "To simply bring together data sources and meld them together, there's a whole heritage and expertise that comes with that. There aren't too many companies with the size and resources to do what we do."


CSDTB started out with some of the same consumer and business data as its competitors -- Williams said every compiler has a little bit of everyone else's data -- but said it has made its files unique by enhancing them with new sources of data. After merging various data sources and running them through the DTB database, CSDTB cleansed its consumer data by rejecting 16 million consumer records that didn't work.


Williams said Amdex and Busdex were created to fill a void in the way compiled lists are marketed, and they are being offered as a cost-efficient alternative to response lists. He said MIN data cards for compiled lists are blocks of information without anything useful. The Amdex master file can be broken into 125 consumer extracts, such as Asian-Indian households, and the Busdex master file consists of 90 business extracts, such as chief financial officers. The data card for each includes various detailed selections.


Amdex contains mail-order-buyer information on 100 million consumers, self-reported information on 35 million, personal financial activity on 65 million, telephone survey information on 3 million and mortgage and home-purchase data. Compiled Solutions president Leland Kroll said selection criteria will continue to be added as new data sources are found.


Compiled lists give mailers more selectability and geographic penetration than response lists and can be enhanced using response list overlays or modeling. According to Kroll, compiled lists always will come out better in terms of price and performance. Rental fees for compiled lists typically are half those for response lists.


"You have to look at a compiled file in bits and pieces. Each selection becomes its own data card,'' Kroll said. "Compilers can't tell you what your selections look like. People haven't looked at data the way Compiled Solutions will.''


MacLean said Metromail has developed systems that allow large, medium and small clients and brokers to see exactly what their selections look like. She said she welcomed the entry of other companies that can do the same.


"Many of us in the industry are committed to delivering high-quality solutions, whether it be as a full-service provider or a niche provider calling on the resources of companies like ours,'' she said. "There is room in the marketplace for many, many players.''
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