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Defaqto is a leading financial information business, helping financial institutions and consumers make better informed decisions for over 20 years. With over 41,000 ratings of financial products in the UK, Defaqto have 60 experts collectively spending 400 hours per day monitoring products for any changes to ensure they stay up to date.

The team at Defaqto, realised that their database was hindering them in improving their communications and marketing efforts.

With data in three disparate and non-integrated systems: Silverpop for marketing activity, Microsoft Dynamics for contact management and a matrix database, the information was out of date, duplicated and not in sync between the databases.

The large job required specialist technology and expertise, so they actively sought out Data8 to collaborate with to create a bespoke process to amalgamate and cleanse the data.

The newly created ‘Dataforce Team’ which comprised of marketing, directors and finance staff at Defaqto worked closely with the cleanse team at Data8 to use a custom cleansing process which consisted of five stages:


The first part of the process was for Data8 to extract data from Dynamics where all fields were taken from CRM. Defaqto then supplied a current copy of the Silverpop database to Data8’s FTP site.


Records are prepared for a full cleanse using three strategies:

  • Standardising and formatting the data, for example correcting telephone numbers into the appropriate field for landline and mobile.
  • Data was cleansed, one example is matching contacts to accounts using custom rules based on domain names.
  • Using the data from the Silverpop and Matrix database, the Dynamics database was appended and enriched to make current records more detailed



The full cleanse focuses on all areas of a record:

  • Address cleansing – PAF data was used to cleanse the data to PAF standard
  • Email validation – using multistage validation techniques to check domains, IP addresses for bounce backs, spelling errors and validity
  • Identification and removal of:
    • Businesses who had ceased trading
    • Deceased records
    • Goneaways and movers for both B2B and B2C companies
  • Telephone validation for landline and mobile
  • Appending additional variables to enrich records
  • Preference service screening for the TPS, CTPS and MPS

Dedupe and merge

The bespoke deduplication process identifies duplicate records and whether they should be merged together to form a new unified company or contact record. The process involved fuzzy address matching, with some records being manually decided upon before deduplication.

The depudplication technology found:

  • Just over 20,000 duplicates with a premise level match
  • Nearly 20,000 duplicate emails
  • Just under 6,000 duplicates with an initial level match

Once duplicates are identified, a master record is initially recognised which will remain on CRM with the subordinate entries then being merged into them to create one wholesome record.


The results were directly inserted into Defaqto’s CRM outside of office hours for minimal disruption.

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.


Data8’s solutions were bespoke and yet they still plugged straight into our CRM - which made the process a whole lot easier. The team knew exactly what needed doing and we were impressed with the expertise combined with the technology. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Data8.” Marketing Manager, Defaqto

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