Identity data - a matter of life and death

Identity data - a matter of life and death

The charity sector has been the recipient of much criticism in recent years over the way it uses personal contact information to target and recruit donors. But many charities need to connect to people for more than just money. When you need life-saving organs, blood or bone marrow, having accurate data can be a matter of life and death.

GBG client, Anthony Nolan, is the UK’s leading charity for blood cancer and blood disorders. Established in 1974, the charity matches stem-cell donors to people with blood cancer and blood disorders in desperate need of a life-saving transplant. Three people every day are matched to a registered donor, ensuring they can get the treatment they need, urgently.

Typically, when a patient is diagnosed as needing a transplant, the charity will search its database of registered donors to find the best match. Currently this includes over 600,000 volunteer stem-cell donors, many of whom registered several years ago.

Lisa Cawley, Donor Liaison Manager at Anthony Nolan, explains:

“All day, every day, we are contacting potential stem-cell donors who have been identified as a match for a patient. It is imperative that we make contact as soon as we know a donor is required, but there is often a problem simply because the contact details are out of date. For us, not being able to make contact is literally a matter of life and death for the patient.

We chose the GBG Connexus solution to trace registered donor volunteers from their last known contact point to their current one. The software also helps us populate any missing data – for instance a mobile phone number – that we may not have collected originally. Having really good data from a supplier we can trust gives us the additional confidence that we are reaching out to the right person. Errors and data-quality issues aren’t acceptable when you are in the business of saving lives. A recent appeal to our database resulted in four immediate matches for patients who had been on our register for some time. With GBG, we were able to contact them and organise life-saving transplants – all within a week.

As a charity, we take our responsibilities with donor data really seriously. We cannot afford for our volunteers and donors to lose confidence in what we do. Knowing who we should contact – and who we shouldn’t – is essential to our business. Just as important is being able to make contact with the identified donor, first time, every time. As awareness of these life threatening conditions continues to rise, we are seeing a corresponding increase in interest from potential donors across the world. GBG’s identity data intelligence helps us stay on top of this – identifying donors we should contact and then connecting with them quickly.”

How it works

A person’s identity is more than just a name and address. GBG Connexus provides a really wide view of an individual’s identity by combining offline, online and social data. It includes over a billion data assets and, uniquely, contains historic details so users can trace people from their last known address or contact number to their present one.

This makes tracing donors a much easier task for charities as well as organisations that need to reconnect with their customers. The software pools together traditional offline data such as telephone numbers, addresses and emails and links this with publicly available social identity data from 10 of the world's largest social networks.

It also includes UK data on gone-aways, the deceased, and adverse financial records, helping clients make contact only where appropriate to do so. In 2016, GBG Connexus was voted the UK’s most innovative online fraud solution for the retail sector, where it is used as an investigations tool to combat fraud and financial crime.

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