Connecting web users to their pre-existing data

  • From: stv <stvsmth@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 15:20:43 -0700

I'm sure this has been solved, or at least thought about, many times.
But I'm not  sure what terms I should be using to begin my research.

We have a ten-year-old database with 200,000 names, addresses, etc.
One of our long-range goals is to properly expose user data to users
so they can access it, modify it, and so forth.

Obviously, we'll want to do this via the web. Obviously we'll want to
have our security procedures nailed (there's no financial data or
anything dangerous like SSN anywhere in the database).

Where should I start my search for methods for connecting
un-authenticated users to pre-existing data. We're a non-profit Oracle
shop in the US (middle-of-nowhere). Is there a term for this process?
It's not a data scrub, per se, but that is part of the process (and,
hopefully, part of the outcome as users connect to their data and
update it).

We maintain old address/phone/email information in our database. We
also maintain a lot of "relationships"--parents-children and
spouse-spouse--with the same address information (but kids move out
and so do spouses).

We also have data unique to our organization (courses: title, date,
location etc).  Right now address changes are done via a simple
form-email. User queries about their course history are handled over
the phone or email.

Our first step will be to get a major update of all our address data
via one of the credit bureaus (Trans Union). This will allow us to
have up-to-date data users can verify/correct.

Following that, there are several options:

* Send an email inviting folks to create an account; "quiz" them
briefly to authenticate & move forward. Start in small batches and
incrementally correct the process.

* Do a hard-mailing to physical addresses. Same as above, bigger
"increments" for saving on postage.

* Browsing users decide to ask us for an account ... I think this is
the most dangerous part; we may need to focus directly contacting as
many folks as possible and the funnel any "walkins" through an actual
person. This is what I'm most curious about now.

I realize this is vague. What I'm looking for is direction: search
terms, general patterns, industry standards, etc.

--Steve Smith (stv)

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