Guide Helps Pick Name-Matching System

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Raab Associates, Chappaqua, NY, an independent consultancy specializing in marketing technology evaluation and selection, released a guide yesterday designed to make it easier for customers to select the right matching software.


The Raab Associates Guide to Customer Matching Systems contains detailed analyses of 14 systems used to link customer or prospect records by matching names and addresses. Each entry includes a narrative overview highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the product, followed by five tables covering 40 elements relating to technology, data preparation, matching, pricing and vendor background.


Products listed in the guide are: Acxiom's AbiliTec; Ascential Software's QualityStage; ChoiceMaker Technologies' ChoiceMaker; DataFlux Corp.'s dfPower Studio; DataLever Corp.'s DataLever; DataMentors' DataFuse; Experian's Truvue; Fair, Isaac's SmartLink; Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite; Group 1 Software's DataSight; Innovative Systems Inc.'s i/Lytics Solution; Intelligent Search Technology's NameSearch; Search Software America's Identity Systems and Trillium Software's Trillium Software System.


"Having an apples-to-apples comparison of the different products makes evaluation much easier," said the guide's author, David Raab.


Raab said products in the guide show greater diversity than previous vendor listings.


"In the past, nearly all commercial customer matching software grew out of systems used to prepare mailing lists or consolidate bank accounts," he said. "Today, those products face increasing competition from systems originally developed to search government databases for law enforcement, social programs or security purposes, and from other systems developed for generalized matching of non-name and address data."


The guide also documents extension of matching systems beyond traditional applications in marketing and data warehouses. New uses include systems to identify fraud, money laundering and terrorists; real-time integration of matching software with data entry systems; and matching against non-name and address data such as products and locations. Both traditional and newer matching systems have been enhanced to support these applications.


The guide is 108 pages and may be purchased for $495 for a printed version or $595 as an electronic document. It is available from Raab Associates at 914/241-2117 or www.raabassociates.com.


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