Building Research Databases

Many companies have multiple and independent administrative files, each of which contains part of the history of a customers contact with a firm. Companies often maintain many separate and unlinked databases: for various companies within a conglomerate, separate billing and operational data, sales and warranty service, or interactions with different divisions of a larger conglomerate. These data systems may have developed independently, and frequently a company may have difficult linking or integration issues. Organizations are frequently interested in combining these loosely coupled data systems, in ways that would yield new insights about their existing customers and provide opportunities for revenue growth.

Merging Data for a ‘Customer View’

We have a long corporate history of analyzing such problems, developing strategies for linking and resolving data inconsistencies, and linking on common information to create a complete and up-to-date customer research database. This often occurs where there have been multiple companies which have been integrated through mergers. It also occurs in companies where certain of the data processing environments or legacy systems have been left untouched or un-integrated for various reasons. Companies who build a new data warehouse would typically not have data integration issues. However, research and marketing parts of an organization can require information from files which have been archived but not incorporated in a new corporate warehouse, or the IT department may be unable to fulfill research requests during the often long process of creating the new warehousing system. DSRA is often called upon in such situations to create a research database, either as a one-off system for a particular policy research situation, or as an on-going updated database from which research questions will be fielded.

Third Party Data to Add Value

DSRA has carried out numerous projects in which our work involved creation of a research database from a complex series of administrative files. We also have extensive experience in merging administrative files with other third party data sources to add valuable research information to company data. Our experience in this field means that it is usually possible to build these research databases relatively quickly because we have the expertise – combined with the database, software, and analysis tools – to provide useful and timely answers to our clients.