Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!

New Year’s resolutions dominate conversations, social media, and lifestyle magazines every January. In 2018 a YouGov poll listed the top 5 resolutions as: Eat better, Exercise more, Spend less money, Selfcare, Read more books.

Regardless of the resolution, 80% fail by February! Luckily, AFD Software offers a resolution for your organisation that won’t fail and will bring real, ongoing, results to your organisation – clean data.

Building Trust in Data

Do you trust the accuracy of your data? For over 35 years, AFD Software has helped organisations get their data right and ensure the answer to this question is “yes”! AFD’s solutions can help clean up data already held within your databases – then ensure data accuracy continues to be achieved at the point of entry.

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!

AFD Refiner

Refiner automates the process of comparing your address data to the 30 million address records in the Royal Mail Postcode Address File. It helps correct all sorts of errors, makes sure your data is correctly formatted, highlights possible duplicates in your data – and can even add very useful and valuable additional data – such as AFD’s Censation classifications, grid references or even TV region, allowing for analysis and visualisation of your data.

Cleaning up existing Address data is highly challenging, and needs to be done carefully and professionally but whatever the state of your contact database, Refiner will offer the best automatic match where possible, and highlight those records that need manual intervention. Accuracy of contact address data within your database provides a host of tangible benefits, ensuring communications are delivered to a valid address - cutting wasted postage costs, and complying with GDPR requirements, thereby increasing customer perception and service, and brand reputation.

Refiner in action at Northumbria University

Testifying to how Refiner saves time and radically improves accuracy, Ben McWhinnie, Data Manager at the University of Northumbria says; "Without Refiner, we would be relying on our sources of data being perfect. Many of our students' data comes from UCAS and the address data comes in a mess - containing both mistakes and formatting errors. We can’t change how it comes to us so we have to accept it. Refiner saves a lot of manual intervention by highlighting errors in these addresses."

Data Suppression Service

AFD’s new suppression service gives organisations even more accuracy in their data by removing or updating out-of-date contact data. Records are suppressed if the contact has deceased, or moved and not provided a forward address. If a forwarding address has been supplied by the contact, the record is updated with the most recent address available.

Using AFD’s service to suppress outof-date data in your database helps organisations to avoid mistakes like upsetting relatives of recently deceased individuals, ensures communications go to the right place and contact, reduces wasted mailing costs, and provides further compliance with the latest GDPR regulations.

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!


Gathering information on deceased individuals is rather complicated – and there are no fewer than seven different approaches to this in the UK. AFD’s suppression service gets the best possible detection rate by having access to all seven deceased files within the market!

Forwarding Address

Similarly, four different Forwarding Address data sets are combined and used - allowing for the highest accuracy match of the most recent address for any individual within your contact database.

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!


When a contact within your database has moved house and there is no forwarding address, the record can be suppressed – or flagged for manual research in case maintaining contact is vital to you. AFD’s service has access to eight separate mover files with which to compare your data.

Upgrading to accuracy

Leger Holidays had reservations about their previous supplier of data suppressions and sought an alternative. We sat down with Liam Race, Commercial Manager to ask what drove him to upgrade to AFD; "In testing results from AFD's service, we found the number of records suppressed was five times more than our incumbent supplier. Initially, the results seemed too good to be true so we spent a week manually checking each suppression - and were staggered by the accuracy!

Each year we send over one million brochures to our customer base so accuracy is essential. Prior to upgrading to AFD, we were burning through money, sending brochures to people that we either had poor data for, had moved, or had died.

This has been minimised since the introduction of AFD’s address validation, cleansing and data suppressions solutions. I’d highly recommend using AFD to achieve better accuracy, higher levels of suppression and regaining trust in your data”

Get in touch today with Joel Miller on 01624 811709 or email to find out how we can help your organisation regain trust in its data.

Charity Evening 2018

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!

In early December AFD Software hosted its 2018 charity evening at Babbage's, the events venue located at Mountain View Innovation Centre in the Isle of Man.

The event celebrated our nominations (from AFD Directors and staff) for donations totalling well over £500,000 to over sixty charities throughout 2018. Representatives from many of the charities and other invited guests from business and the community shared an evening with all AFD staff to celebrate the incredible work the charities undertake, and to understand more about how the donations will further their work.

Our staff and many guests describe the evening as the "highlight of their year" and came away with renewed motivation to do more. Guests were able to hear exciting stories of how music can be life-changing for individuals and entire families – and how you are never too young to make a massive difference. One of the charities, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) shared how the Kodiak Bush Aircraft (donated by AFD in 2008) was recently deployed from its usual base in Borneo to Sulawesi, assisting in the emergency disaster relief effort following the earthquake and tsunami that caused devastation to the communities in the area.

The Kodiak was able to transport personnel with skills and experience in disaster relief, in addition to specialised communication tools which allowed the coordination and prioritisation of humanitarian assistance to the worst-hit areas.

All the charities nominated and the essential work being carried out by them can be seen at and

Postcode News: New year resolution? - Clean data!

From the Directors

Thirty Five years in business is quite a journey – from a loft in a 2-bed semi to a business that now employs over a hundred people in several countries. As we reflect on that journey, perhaps the most exciting thing is that the business has been able to make a real and substantial difference to many people in many places.

It is great to produce products and services that are themselves highly positive – they help people and organisations to do things efficiently, and cut out massive amounts of waste. We are always grateful for the incredible loyalty of our many customers – and genuinely strive to make sure they remain happy and well served.

We have also travelled this road with colleagues, many of whom themselves have been around AFD for over ten - or in several cases over twenty - years, and who own and display our culture and values. Seeing them flourish and grow also affirms company objectives.

Sharing all the resources available to us – not only through charity giving, but in the wonderful location and facilities of Mountain View, and by using our influence and voice – help fulfil our strategy to make a positive impact in our community and the wider world: direct expressions of our Christian convictions and calling, which was why AFD was started in that loft in 1983.

Thank you for your support.


Data News - Q. 1/19

Between October and November 2018 there were significant updates to data on The Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF). These included 9 new localities; 5,418 new postcodes; 77,199 new delivery points and 13,971 delivery point changes.

Postcode Double Dependant Locality Dependant Locality Post Town

The most up-to-date PAF data is available now in our latest Q.1/19 update. You can order updates for any AFD Software solution by calling 01624 811711 or email (