Avox can accept data in a variety of formats, e. g. as text files, XML, CSV files or structured databases. Data can be sent to Avox by e-mail, on a disk, via FTP or SFTP uploads, or by direct access to the data management architecture API. Avox can also retrieve it from a client's server. Data encryption is employed throughout the data transmission process, as required by each client. Once the data arrives, Avox makes a secure back-up before loading it into the Avox data architecture. This initial data load includes the minimum number of integrity checks with the data being loaded into text fields within the staging database. Any cus-tomer-specific mapping tables are also stored within the Avox data architecture to facilitate specific valida-tion and transformation routines (e. g. customer-specific SIC codes). An exception report is produced, de-tailing any records that could not be loaded. Data is processed in a client-specific way, depending on the format in which the data was sent. Mapping tables are used as required and data integrity is checked and validated before the data is copied into a central pool of records. Customerspecific programs are used to ensure that the central pool contains data in a common format, regardless of source. For security purposes, client names are not stored in the data-bases; codenames are used instead.
Before any cleansing work is done on the records, the client data is assessed, and the report is used as the first deliverable into a client-specific project plan for integrating the data into the Avox Core.
New data is benchmarked to provide a quantifiable indication of its quality using the four criteria - popula-tion, duplication, formatting and accuracy. This information allows significant problem areas within the data set to be identified, so that remedial work can be optimally targeted.
Following discussion with the customer, and according to the terms set out in the service level agreement, the project plan will identify prioritized records and determine the order in which they are to be processed. In addition, the plan will specify which fields within the customer data are to be cleansed, and thus ensure that analysts are only presented with the required fields.