More than a name…..

Everyone in this world has a name. When we hear a name however, it is really hard to precisely know what it consists of and how the consisting parts should be written. A name might, for example, contain salutation, one or more titles, given names, initials, one or more family names, and additions. Here’s an example of a name with different name parts:

Mr Peter M Smith PhD

  • Mr – Salutation, also called honorific, a polite way of addressing a person
  • Peter – Given name. The name given to a person at birth. You have male and female names, and sometimes a name can be carried by both. But, in general, it is possible to derive the gender of the person from his/her name(s).
  • M – Initial. An abbreviated form of a given name
  • Smith – Family name
  • PhD – Addition, in this case an academic title

This may appear easy, but due to all different naming conventions in the world, it is definitely not! At Human Inference, we have automated this process by creating a Firefox plugin that can help you interpret the various name parts and assign a gender to the name. It also finds the names which most closely resemble the ones you typed as input.

You can type the full name of a person, and that’s all you need to do. The plugin will make the most probable interpretation, based on the vast knowledge of names it has. It places the parts in the appropriate fields and displays the predicted gender. On top of that it will give you close alternatives for the names or for the way the input can be interpreted. These are shown as a list of suggestions when you right click on the input field. If you think that any of the other suggested interpretations is what you were looking for, you can click on it and it is displayed instead.

Summarizing, the plugin

  • can correct the mistakes that you made writing someone’s name.
  • can be used to segment the name correctly.
  • can provide you with closely resembling suggestions.
  • can predict the gender of the name.
  • is free of charge! Continue reading ‘More than a name…..’

First Time Right in Action

In previous blogs on the First Time Right (FTR)-principle, we’ve talked about preventing that your data becomes polluted. After reading the white paper on FTR you might want to see some actual examples. Yesterday, I have seen some demo’s and trials from our development group (special thanks to Kasper Sørensen and Ankit Kumar!) that I want to share. Look and play with it and give me feedback how to improve things. The demos are focussed only on guiding the user to provide correct names (so I’m aware that email, telephone, address, etc is not yet incorporated).

The first demo is a mockup for Microsoft CRM. You should go to the name fields (First name and Last name) and see how the entry form is helping you to guide you to correct names. I need to admit that the Microsoft CRM demo works better in Internet Explorer (I wonder why …. ;-).

The second demo shows the key possibilities of HIquality Name Worldwide in a Linkedin mockup.

I am enthusiastic about the ease to integrate the first time right mechanism in a web form (or any application with a web UI). Engineers showed me that it’s quite non-intrusive, they added five lines in the beginning of the page and it is working already.