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AMI International was founded in Bristol in 1986 as Applied Market Information Ltd, by a group of expert consultants who have decades of experience conducting market research, data reports, and providing intelligence to the global plastics industry.

The Challenge

They have a global database comprising accounts and contacts within the Plastics Industry hosted within Microsoft Dynamics 365, their central hub for all sales, marketing and account management activities which is used to promote their market intelligence reports and conferences on a wide range of topics, from artificial grass to wind turbine blade manufacturing. Data is inputted daily from many global locations and duplicates and sometimes incorrectly formatted address data had started to creep into the system.

The Objective

In order to try and combat the issue of duplicates, AMI were exporting data out as a flat file and then sorting, de-duping, standardising and importing back the data into Dynamics. This was a resource intensive and manual process which led to AMI exploring the market to see if a solution was available to help manage duplicate data and deliver more consistent address formatting. They were seeking a solution that the data team could quickly and efficiently identify, merge and standardise their global data which included the UK, Germany, the US and Australia all of which had different formats.

The Solution

AMI assessed two potential solutions, one of which was Data8 Duplicare. Upon approaching Data8, they were provided with an initial demo of how Duplicare may be able to solve many of their issues around duplicate data. In particular, how to manage and assign duplicate resolution within their team and how the multi-merge interface could help them effectively merge records with drag and drop functionality into a master record without losing any key data. Data8 also worked with the AMI International Data Team to get some basic batch matching rules set up to fully test the functionality of the system during their discovery phase.

The Outcome

After a rigorous free of charge trial, AMI found Duplicare to be far and away the best solution to prevent and eliminate duplicates. AMI were able to refine and expand on the basic matching rules tailoring them to meet their definition of a duplicate. Coupled with the built-in fuzzy logic of Duplicare utilising the batch processing capability, these rules identified an unrivaled number of duplicates in their system which could be merged quickly and effectively with the intuitive drag-and-drop interface retaining all key data. The initial run of Duplicare enabled the merge and correct formatting of over 4,000 records.

Duplicare was able to identify records that had formerly gone undetected, such as duplicate addresses with one starting with '10' and the other 'Ten'. Such features enabled the data team to complete the initial de-dupe and merge exercise with a degree of accuracy and speed that they were previously unable to achieve.

Working with Data8

For AMI, Duplicare has become a critical tool in their data quality strategy, they continue to push the capabilities of the system to further ensure that there is no slippage in the standard of data within their Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, which Duplicare allows them to manage through an intuitive interface that provides a very shallow learning curve to all members of their Data Team. AMI were also impressed by the training, support and account management provided by Data8.

Alex Ciminelli, Data Team Manager at AMI says: "Duplicare was very easy to set up; you don't need to be an IT genius (or Data Genius for that matter!) to get up and running with the solution. My team have found it extremely easy to use and I'm able to delegate out de-dupe and merge tasks from within Dynamics 365 with ease. The degree of fuzzy logic within the solution has been another stand-out feature for us and its ability to identify previously undiscovered dupes made for a very strong business case when presenting the solution to the board"

Upon discussing the service from Data8, Alex adds: "Whilst we were blown away by the power of Duplicare, that's only part of the story - the support we received from Simon in Client Services, as well as the technical team who developed the system, was fantastic and the training we received gave us confidence to develop and refine matching rules within Duplicare to meet our unique needs in maintaining a global database of Accounts and Contacts"