REaD Group acquires UKChanges assets to create the perfect blend of market leading technology and data
REaD Group have acquired UKChanges’ key assets, including their market-leading data management platforms from its administrator.
Due to difficult market conditions exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, data specialists UK Changes was forced to go into administration in April. Having reached agreement with the administrators, we have taken over ownership and management of UK Changes’ assets, including its data management platforms, ukc>online and ukc>connect.
Taking ownership of these key assets enables us to combine UKChanges’ technical platforms with its leading data products to create the perfect blend of market leading technology and data.
The platforms will be incorporated into our product portfolio with immediate effect, and REaD’s experienced Operations and Account Management teams are working hard to ensure a smooth transition for current users of the products and delivering the high-quality service levels that REaD prides itself on.
We are, of course, saddened by the liquidation of UKChanges, however, the opportunity to acquire these technically excellent platforms could not be overlooked. The combination of these first-class platforms and REaD’s unparalleled data and seamless API connectivity creates a unique offering for UK businesses and marketers.
Naturally, our immediate priority is to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for users as we incorporate the new technology. The acquisition accelerates our development plans to provide seamless access to our broadening portfolio of assets giving both our existing and new customers greater choice and capability with which to deliver their campaigns.
This is an exciting development for REaD so more news and updates will follow over the coming weeks.
We are delighted that REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez, has been confirmed as a member of the DataIQ 100 2020 – being recognised as one of the most influential data enablers in the industry, for a third consecutive year.
”I am delighted and flattered to be recognised in the 2020 DataIQ 100. It is an honour to be associated with an impressive and talented list influential data professionals.”
The recognition is keeping with an impressive career in data – spanning more than 25 years – including leading some of the UK’s largest data companies – Claritas, Altwood Systems, Acxiom, Ai Data Intelligence, Communisis and currently and now, as CEO of REaD Group. Jon has built a reputation for driving innovation, best practice and success.
Jon has been CEO at REaD Group since 2014 and is responsible for the strategy that has led to REaD’s growing customer base of A-list brands, across multiple sectors.
Integral to this strategy is his belief that data sits at the heart of everything – and valuing, understanding and interpreting that data is key to success.
In addition to building on REaD Group’s position as market leader in data quality, he has been instrumental in developing the company’s service offerings – including an enviable insight capability, winning contracts for the delivery of Single Customer View and driving the development implementation of REaDConnect – REaD Group’s automated data delivery model.
Jon has been an authoritative contributor to the direct marketing industry throughout his career holding positions on DMA’s Data Council, various working parties and the Institute of Direct Marketing Data Council. A genuine industry influencer, he is sought after as a media commentator and a trusted advisor on data marketing, privacy, compliance and the GDPR.
Congratulation to Jon for this much deserved recognition!
By Chris Turner, Head of REaDConnect at REaD Group
We can all attest to being bombarded with articles and advice on that overly (and at times incorrectly) discussed data protection regulation – to the point where it has almost taken on a Voldemort-like status. The mere mention of it might inadvertently summon the ICO. However, GDPR has, from its inception, presented a change for the better and a huge opportunity for businesses.
It’s important to remember that the legislation wasn’t primarily designed for organisations; it was designed with the consumer in mind and to champion their interests. Nevertheless, we can’t forget the consequences of failing to adhere.
Prior to GDPR’s implementation the primary focus for data quality and data cleansing centred around wasted mail being sent to people who wouldn’t receive it. Over a 6-year period from 2005-2011 Royal Mail had over 158 million undeliverable items of mail (it would be interesting to know what this figure is now!). It’s easy to understand how this can be the case given that, every year:
- over six million people move home
- more than 600,000 people die
- at least 500,000 addresses change for reasons such as postcode boundary updates
Data cleansing has too often been seen as a cumbersome expense, however, in a post-GDPR world we should be viewing it as an opportunity. It’s not just about the money – at a time when consumers are increasingly conscious of their impact on the planet, being seen to be wasteful in terms of thousands of undelivered mailpacks bound with single-use plastic is sure to cause reputational damage.
And the distress caused by mailing the deceased has the potential to be even more damaging to a brand. Consider the social fallout for a major bank trying to promote a re-mortgage offer to a couple who are no longer together… and now imagine the reason they are not together is that the husband is now a widower with three children.
If we consider this scenario from another angle: Imagine a major bank sending a re-mortgage offer to a widower with three children promoting its ability to support families with ease of the switch process, payment breaks, vouchers for a major high street toy store and a donation to a charity of their choice. So really – is data quality an opportunity or a cost?
Many organisations feel it’s enough to have robust processes for dealing with complainants and returned mail by removing these records from their database. However, most people simply bin incorrect mailings rather than making the effort to return them. Brands need to ensure their data is clean and accurate before contact is made because, by the time a complaint or goneaway is received, it’s already too late: money has been wasted and damage done.
Data cleansing has always been a relatively simple process but has traditionally relied on batch processes and manual interaction. Essentially, prior to an organisation contacting their customers with an offer or promotion they will provide this data to a 3rd party who process against industry leading suppression files like GAS and TBR. Data is returned with incorrect records flagged or removed and the contact continues.
In the age of technology, it seems strange that we are still reliant on people to run these processes. Why do we not simply schedule tasks and pat ourselves on the back? Part of the reason for this is the pure size of data assets (GAS contains over 98 million names and addresses) and complexity of data matching algorithms.
Recently Royal Mail commissioned a report into Dynamic Customer Data in a Digital World which for me hit the nail on the head. It’s time to change the conversation.
Are Data Quality and Data Cleansing an opportunity or a cost?