Data Matching Reunites Families Separated in Hurricane

DQ Global business partner e-Innovative Services Group LLC said last week that it volunteered to aid the Louisiana Emergency Response Center in tracing families separated by Hurricane Katrina.

Many families were evacuated to separate centers in Texas and north Louisiana, with no centralized database to track families in storm shelters. As a result, there were countless cases of small children without parents and relatives lost to each other.

Using DQ Global's Match software, EISG linked various lists to find close matches of families by address and name. Match can process 3 million records hourly and interrogate all data in one operation, search for duplicate records, link data in disparate systems, amend poorly formatted names and addresses, merge or transfer information between matching records and purge or remove out-of-date information.

EISG, Baltimore, said the lists it worked with totaled 200,000 names but that normal match criteria didn't work because spelling was a critical problem. Organizing the lists and linking them took about a week, the company said.

The process gleaned more than 15,000 probable matches scattered across Texas and Louisiana. Of the probable matches, 4,000 people were reunited.

“Although Match is primarily designed for cross-matching and linking business data, it's great to hear of its value and effectiveness for projects such as this,” said Martin Doyle, managing director at UK-based DQ Global.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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