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AQA is an independent education charity and the largest provider of academic qualifications taught in schools and colleges in the UK. Their qualifications are also recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world.

AQA had a sizable and growing database. They had moved to Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the homegrown CRM but data had not been cleansed, so they experienced several issues in their database that affected CRM user adoption.

Some key issues included:

  • Duplicate data- 3-4 different records of the same person including:
    • Different roles e.g. Mr. Smith who is a teacher, but also an examiner and invigilator.
    • Different locations – the teacher may have moved schools.
  • Lack of trust in CRM – employees started using their own spreadsheets, resulting in data in a variety of places.
  • Inability to create targeted campaigns due to lack of data structures and incomplete information.

Data8 followed a six stage process including:

  • Input- Data was inputted seamlessly from AQA's MS Dynamics CRM into Data8's data cleansing portal.
  • Improve- Data structures and initial cleansing were implemented to prepare the data ready for a full cleanse.
  • Cleanse- The database was cleansed and verified using Data8's technology including contact information, life event data and verification against the TPS, CTPS and MPS.
  • De-duplicate- Using Data8's fuzzy matching technology with AQA's specific needs, custom de-duplication rules were implemented.
  • Merge- Duplicated records were merged without losing key information. Two types of record forms were created to accommodate for multiple roles.
  • Output- Cleansed, verified, and merged data was inputted seamlessly back into CRM during the weekend to avoid user interruption.

Since the custom cleanse and validation of AQA’s database by Data8, the following benefits have been identified:

  • A single view of each customer record in the database.
  • Increased user adoption.
  • Targeted marketing campaigns through simplified selection.
  • Increased email delivery rates and decreased email bounce rates.
  • Reduced costs and time spent contacting invalid records as 100,000 records were removed.
  • New roles assigned based on rules.
  • Revised governance processes introduced.


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