Very pragmatic; it didn’t have to be the correct address, or even a valid address, just usable.
Here in the UK, a postal code identifies about 80 houses, usually on the same street. The combination of postcode and a house number is therefore enough to uniquely identify an address and enable delivery of a letter.
The specification document I was given defined a usable address as “a valid UK Postcode, and a house number.” Although such an address can be considered “valid”, we were soon to realise that there are valid addresses which don’t have house numbers, and still more usable addresses which have neither.
The organisation I was working for holds addresses in six different fields, of which one is for house number and one for postcode. Easy, I thought.
Using Experian Pandora software we built the appropriate validation rule and discovered that the rule specification itself was wrong! Using Experian Pandora’s Data Profiling and Data Prototyping functionality we then analysed the actual data, discovering and building a validation rule to cope with the following variations:
As a bonus, we even created a corrected version of the data to feed back into the source system, and generated specifications for ongoing data cleansing rules.
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