Melissa Data Quality Review

Works better than using a batch processing system that we do not have enough control over

What is our primary use case?

Address parsing for property tax roll records and adding Zip+4 to its latitude and longitude coordinates.

How has it helped my organization?

When we first started using Melissa Data products, we needed it for cleaning up parcel addresses and adding Zip+4 to its latitude and longitude coordinates. At the time, we were actually using the products for verifying the addresses and cleaning up cities and zip codes so our clients could use the information to send out mailings. Over the last few years, we have changed our direction a little bit. We no longer use the product for verifying or changing any of the address information we get from the state or property appraiser offices. We only use it now for parsing the addresses into street name, suffix, direction, unit, etc. to make our data easier for our clients to search on these separate fields. If the street name that comes from the property appraiser’s office is misspelled, we no longer use Melissa Data to clean it up. We just parse. There are reasons for why we do this that would take longer to explain, but wanted to give you an idea of what we are doing. We do append the lat/long info for any additions or changes that we get when we get the new tax roll updates each year.

Since we have changed directions and we are no longer using Melissa Data to clean up our address information, there are free tools that we can use to do the same thing. We can also write our own parsing routines ourselves, if necessary. The reason we have not looked at other tools yet is because this takes time for our team to change the processes that we already have in place. However, the long-term benefit is we would save this money that we are spending every year on Melissa Data products. We would just have an initial cost of rewriting everything the first year. Also, we can get most of the lat/long information we need from the county parcel maps that we already get for free. We also have another solution to handle the properties that are not necessarily in the maps data (because of timing or other issues). We are looking into this. 

Just giving honest feedback. We have no gripes with the products. We just have to look at ways to keep our own costs down.

What is most valuable?

We like having the ability to write our own utilities/software to process our records and store the final output the way we want. We use the objects inside of programs that we wrote in VB/VB.NET. This tool works better for us than using a batch processing system that we do not have enough control over as each record is being processed. 

What needs improvement?

I cannot think of anything to improve. The products do way more than we take advantage of at this time.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have never used technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have not used another solution.

How was the initial setup?

Extremely easy to install and setup. Initially, we had to figure out how to use all of the properties for each object and what the return codes meant, but this really was not that hard.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are concerned that our own pricing is going up every year for Melissa Data products, but we highly recommend the services for people who are routinely sending out mailings. 

We do not give advice as to pricing and licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I believe we evaluated other products offered by Melissa Data at the time (for example, “Mailers”). I do not know that there were other vendors offering what we needed at the time. Other vendors had options for sending batch data files, but no options for us to be able to write our own code.

What other advice do I have?

I believe the Melissa Data products are very good. I tend to direct clients and colleagues to check out Melissa Data if they are doing mailings because those products are very good and simple to use. We usually suggest to our own customers that they check it out if they want to do mailings from the records we provide. There seem to be a lot of capabilities built into the Melissa Data products that we currently buy, but we are not taking advantage of because we just do not need those capabilities for what we are doing.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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