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Acxiom Saves 50% on Transcription and Outsourcing Costs with Amazon Mechanical Turk

ABOUT THE REQUESTER

Acxiom Corporation, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a marketing technology and services company with offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. The company compiles, manages and analyzes consumer and business data for the marketing, privacy and security industries, updating more than 32 billion data records each month.

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGES

Acxiom uses a sophisticated optical character recognition (OCR) system to scan data and update records on a continuous basis. Ensuring accuracy is paramount, and in cases where the OCR system assigns a low level of confidence to a scan, Acxiom outsources the image for manual transcription to an offshore provider.

Initial results from Acxiom’s offshore provider revealed that many of the low confidence scans generated from the OCR system were, in fact, accurate. However, paying a specialized transcription vendor to verify the accuracy of scans was inefficient and very expensive. In order to reduce costs, a scalable, cost effective solution for verifying the accuracy of low confidence scans was critical.

WHY AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK?

Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, Acxiom was able to implement an accuracy verification step directly into their workflow to automatically filter accurate results before sending scans to be transcribed by the offshore vendor. In less than two weeks, Acxiom integrated with Mechanical Turk’s API, recruited a workforce of 125 Workers and built a process for monitoring Workers’ performance in verifying the accuracy of scans. To ensure quality, Acxiom designed Human Interaction Tasks (HITs) that required Workers to verify the accuracy of 100 scans of which the accuracy was already known for 30. By using Known Answers (a Review Policy available in the Mechanical Turk API), Acxiom could monitor the quality of each individual’s results and create a scalable, automated approach to ongoing quality assurance.

THE BUSINESS BENEFITS

As a result of integrating Mechanical Turk, Acxiom was able to cut the cost of verifying accurate results by 50% and significantly reduce the overall cost of transcription by reducing the total number of scans sent to the offshore provider.

Learn more about Axciom by visiting their website, www.acxiom.com