Data Quality Tips from Our Experts

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By Admound Chou

Assistant Data Quality Manager


The date most mailers (and those in the industry) perhaps feared – Jan. 4, 2010 – has finally come. Starting Jan. 4, 2010, a First-Class™ or Standard Mail® mailing must pass a USPS®-mandated Move Update compliance measure – or face a 7-cent per piece penalty. Penalties will be assessed on mailings that have an error rate of more than 30 percent. For instance, if a First-Class or Standard mailing is determined to have a 40 percent error rate (non Move Update compliant), then a penalty will be assessed on the amount over the tolerance level – which is 10 percent.


The best way to stay in compliance is to utilize an approved Move Update tool such as our SmartMover Web Service, which uses a secure Internet connection allowing you to integrate change-of-address seamlessly into your custom applications to process lists against USPS 48-month NCOALink® data.


Here are some tips on how to better optimize our SmartMover Web Service:


If you are using Melissa Data’s SmartMover Web Service and speed is a factor, please take note of these two options as they can affect the speed of your processing.



This option will parse the address out into its individual components like the street name, pre-direction, post-direction, suffix etc. It adds a small overhead in terms of the size of the response (10-15 percent larger response) but will not noticeably affect the speed of the service. However, multiplied over many records, not using this feature if you do not need it may save you a little time. This option, used in conjunction with the next option, will have a more noticeable effect.



This option will return the original name and address, the standardized address, and the move address with every response. We are required by the USPS to provide this information if requested, but for the vast majority of users, is unnecessary. Without this option turned on, we will return only the best result, either a standardized address; a move address; or an error with a code indicating which one it is.


The saving in speed between using and not using this option is the result of the size of each record processed. Each detailed record will be 200 percent larger than a non-detailed one, 250 percent if OptAddressParsed is turned on as well. Not having to double or triple the amount of data transferred will have a very substantial impact on speed.