The latest update in Discoverer enables marketers to justify why
certain people were targeted for a campaign, this update enables
them to input complex selection criteria with ease and justify
Over the past year it has become more important to justify the
inclusion of a particular record in a marketing campaign. The
charity sector in particular has been in the news for the
targeting of particular groups of people. Marketers often need to
explain the reasons for a particular record being selected, and
this can involve some fairly arduous logical wrangling with
complicated selections. This auditing process is sometimes
initiated by recipient complaints, sometimes by quality control
within the business, and sometimes by the software user trying to
ascertain the correctness of their logical thinking.
As a response to this requirement we have developed new
functionality in Discoverer which allows a user to explore the
inclusion status of a record by returning a match for every line
within the selection.
Here’s a basic example:
A person can only match one part of this selection (since they
can’t be both a male and a female), and a handful of those
matching records can be seen below:
Now, in this particular instance it isn’t too difficult for us to
use the data grid to justify why each of these three people have
been picked and which one of the two ‘OR’ clauses they matched.
This new development allows the user to select records and show a
view that colours each line of the selection according to whether
it matches that particular line or not. In the example below we
can see that the record was clearly from a Female Financial Times
However, with more involved selections with many different
logical elements and variables from many different tables this
process becomes cognitively difficult and time consuming. As an
example one of our clients spends considerable time after the
event having to justify to the business why particular people
were targeted. This development would make that process much
There are some limitations to this functionality that affect its
use in all circumstances.
First, there are many selections which could have different
results each time we run them. For instance, selections with
random elements, or selections that pick any one person per email
Secondly, there are reasons why the inclusion status of a record
may change if this functionality is invoked at a later date:
- Your selection targets people who had registered in the last
week. If you look at the selection some time later then the
person wouldn’t match.
- Your selection targets people who have had less than 3
transactions. If you return to the selection after they have made
another transaction they wouldn’t match.
- The data in the system is updated and the value of one of the
selection attributes for that record has changed. For instance
you may have excluded people with a TPS notification, but they
have subscribed to this between making the selection and being
asked why they matched.
What other techniques can you use to verify a selection?
This development has added a new technique for verifying
selection correctness, but it is useful to review some other
techniques that are available to you.
- Fields from selection – this button on a datagrid will add to your datagrid
all the elements that are in your selection and resolve the
data grid to the most sensible table for viewing the data.
This shortcut can save time when sense-checking complicated
selections with lots of different variables in a system with a
large number of variables.
- Drag out part of a selection to understand it – for instance
you may inherit a selection and be unsure what it is doing. One
way of getting to grips with it is to drag out smaller parts of
the selection to create a new one and using a data grid to
understand that part of the tree.
- Rename the aspects that you understand – once you have
understood what a particular part of a selection does then you
can rename it and then the selection tree will use that name
further up the tree.
It is vital that the selections that marketing analysts base
their campaigns and business decisions on are correct and can be
justified. This new feature adds a more sophisticated way of
satisfying that requirement.
- This update simplifies the understanding of more involved
- Using this update marketers can justify their selection
criteria with ease.
- Marketers working with this update in Discoverer are able to
ensure their selection criteria is correct with ease.
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