Age UK

Data Import and CRM Project

Having a flexible, clean and efficient CRM is of critical importance to Age UK. Currently, Age UK uploads information to its CRM system from more than 120 data feeds, just one of which can contain as many as 250,000 records in a single file. There are three categories of data feeds: One includes data on charity donations; another on retail partners offering such products as hearing aids and orthopedic beds; and a third on home, travel and motor insurance.

However, data in these feeds frequently does not meet quality standards. In fact, Age UK’s Data Management Enterprises Division teams have to perform custom data cleaning processes to remedy duplicate records and incomplete records in a database containing some 12 million contacts. This manual, inefficient process consumes the time of four full-time employees each month. In addition, the process of uploading data from specific feeds from other organisations can take as long as eight weeks due to resource constraints. The consequences are that Age UK is often not dealing with current or accurate data, which prevents it from assessing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and from giving its clients the best and most timely advice, help and recommendations on everything from insurance to healthcare providers.

Age UK needed to use this development opportunity to make improvements particularly in the areas of:

  • Efficiency of data handling processes by Age UK Data Import Team
  • Data Cleaning and Validation
  • Automated data clean
  • Deduplication
  • Data quality reporting
  • Effort required to implement new data feeds

The Project

The initial focus was to assist the Data Quality Team comprising 3 data analysts. This team managed the integration of the 120+ external data feeds with their new CRM using the data integration processes developed using Talend. The initial implementation focused on improving the import processes to Raiser’s Edge, and support the data migration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


Flexible project engagement

Age UK worked with KETL to design a data integration framework which we jointly developed as a 3 month time boxed project as a pilot for the full implementation. For the first part of the project Age UK had frequent contact with KETL consultants then as their knowledge level and capability increased they called on us for more specific pieces of work.

The integration framework

KETL created the data model to help the Age UK data team to set up a Talend process to map a varying set of data files into a new system. During the integration process the data files are managed through file movement to various directories, stored in a raw format in the database, imported into a common structure, cleaned based on rules, mandatory field checking and validation, de-duplicated against existing data and current import, output in a new file format for the new system to absorb.

The Outcome

The headline outcome was significant savings in the resources it was taking to manually force a lot of the data cleansing, transforming and deduping prior to the framework implementation. The savings are £78,000 per year.

Business benefits that Age UK receives from the improved availability of high-quality data include better analytics and reporting so it can build models of how clients use its services. The organisation is also able to more closely track sales of such products as stair lifts, hearing aids and personal alarms, and take advantage of cross-selling opportunities.

Age UK now also has the ability to optimise marketing campaigns by more precisely targeting its customers. In addition, the integration framework helps Age UK comply with data governance regulations for marketing and data protection, which include avoiding emailing customers who have opted out or received recent emails, and avoiding creating duplicate records for individuals initiating transactions several weeks apart.

Support from KETL consultants has been of the highest quality and tailored specifically to our needs. Utilizing Amazon Web Services for our Talend development environment enables us to collaborate in developments with KETL in a seamless way.

Data Integration Development Manager
Age UK

Why was KETL chosen?

KETL were recommended to Age UK and we carried out a Proof of Concept (POC) to complete a deduplication, data mapping for complex match rules and groups and creation of ‘Golden Records’ for a specific set of data feeds. Once the data model was trialled then the POC project was implemented at scale.

About Age UK

Age UK’s vision is to make the UK a great place to grow older. We do this by inspiring, supporting and enabling in a number of ways.

Age UK fundraises through donations, legacies, gifts, partnerships and other voluntary contributions makes up their largest source of net income at 64.5%. Age UK also raises money by delivering charitable activities, including their Experts by Experience contract with the Care Quality Commission.