Best use of FastStats 2010 Awards

Using FastStats to provide regular reporting, data analysis and campaign management

Company Overview

Oxfam is an international confederation of 14 organisations working together in 99 countries and with partners and allies around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.Working with more than 3,000 local partner organisations, Oxfam works with people living in poverty striving to exercise their human rights, assert their dignity as full citizens and take control of their lives.


Apteco approved partner - Occam, has been supplying Oxfam with a FastStats database since August 2008. The database holds 5 million customer records and nearly 50 million donation transactions. Before the implementation of FastStats, Oxfam had managed its fundraising, transactional and financial data in a range of systems which fed into core platforms designed for specific purposes.

The Oxfam FastStats solution has enabled invaluable supporter insight, it has increased ROI, and it has shortened end to end process time.

Occam's main objective was to provide Oxfam with an enhanced reporting, analysis and campaign management solution that could consolidate these disparate data sources. In addition, Oxfam wished to work with a partner who could rapidly deliver an accurate solution to provide the following benefits

  • A suite of defined business and marketing reports, to be refreshed on a regular basis
  • A solution for managing the necessary information to support reporting and campaign selections
  • A flexible solution providing the ability to perform counts, ad hoc analysis and selections, quickly and easily
  • The ability to assign individuals with bespoke model scores and segmentation classifications which can subsequently be used in targeted campaign selections and analysis
  • The ability for users at Occam to perform all of the above from their offices

Occam’s assessment of Oxfam’s business requirements led them to recommend the FastStats suite as the interaction element of this solution.


The FastStats element of the solution provides regular reporting, data analysis and campaign management facilities with the Excelsior module, enabling Oxfam to benefit from invaluable supporter insight.

Oxfam has now developed a detailed understanding of individuals who are responsive to direct mail and those that prefer to be contacted in other ways. A ‘virtuous cycle’ of continuous learning and iterative improvement has been implemented, which informs all subsequent campaigns, allowing Oxfam to build a better long-term targeting strategy based on real supporter insight, as well as building stronger individual supporter relationships.

Oxfam, as a business, is a data rich organisation with lots of transactional data and many millions of individuals signed up to programs such as “Make Poverty History” and “I’m In”. However, it would be fair to say that data has not been central to their relationship marketing strategy.

  • Using a combined financial/non-financial data feed from Oxfam’s main Ascent database, Occam designed and developed a database for Oxfam to use in combination with the FastStats/Excelsior tool set.  
  • By applying deduplication and suppression techniques to produce clean data, Oxfam reduced direct mail wastage and was therefore able to make significant cost savings. Moreover, the solution meant that improved targeting could be achieved through sophisticated modelling and analysis methods.  
  • In addition to the implementation of a generic database and the integration of a tailored FastStats/Excelsior tool set, the targets set for the project were threefold; to maximise mailing cost savings through deduping, to reduce non- contactable supporters by 20% and generate a steady income off these supporters, and finally, to maximise the revenue generated through Gift Aid.


For Oxfam, the adoption of FastStats software has brought the following benefits:

  • The ability to segment by supporter types has facilitated campaign execution and enabled more standard selection criteria
  • The capacity to build easy and reusable templates for outputting data. This is particularly useful for prompts (which rely on expressions)
  • The means to improve Ascent - PAF, removing deceaseds and deleteds, derived fields etc.
  • The use of venns, cubes, 'output to excel' for all tools etc., which has enabled Oxfam to gain greater insight into their donors.
  • The Cascade tool has given Oxfam a good way of storing all of its past work with easy reference.

FastStats software has also given Oxfam significant technical advantages, such as the ability to add in complex participation data and the building of telemarketing models – a component which has increased response rates by 30% in core segments using the PWE model.


As well as increasing ROI through the reduction of mailing wastage and the accuracy of more targeted campaigns, the generic database implementation has also reduced end to end process time significantly. FastStats has allowed Oxfam to make more selections in less time, which has also increased the capability and output of the team. For instance, Oxfam has been able to run 600 selections in cascade, some of which span many channels & many segments. With these improvements, Oxfam has gained a 30% improvement in the time it takes to produce a selection.

In addition, the Oxfam FastStats solution has enabled invaluable supporter insight, it has increased ROI, and it has shortened end to end process time. Implementing various data quality tests using FastStats functionality has so far helped Oxfam fix 5,000 incorrect standing orders and 200 pledges assigned to the wrong account (very complex). It has also enabled Oxfam to fix 40,000 email addresses and 600,000 genders.

Finally, Oxfam’s aim to reduce non-contactable supporters by 20% was duely achieved and as a result it was able to recontact 26,787 supporters it thought were goneaway. There was also a significant increase in Gift Aid revenue.

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