On my off hours I watch an embarrassing amount of the British TV show Top Gear. I’m not into cars and the hosts are not particularly easy on the eyes, so it’s been a mystery to me why I do this. Until it hit me. Check out this diagram here, resembling an infinite race track, and the phrase “Never. Stop. Testing.” No wonder the Top Gear guys seem like kindred spirits. They’re doing just what we do at Hacker Group except in cars. But there are some differences… for example… Top Gear doesn’t have data processing.
Data processing at Hacker Group is the source of intense interest for new employees. What does data processing do? How long does it take them to do it? Do we need a Variance filter or an Nth dump? There is a lot of science going in to keeping quality high. Clients often ask us to personalize postal and electronic mail with the recipient’s name. Data processing checks these lists for anything out of the ordinary. If a swear word shows up in a name, they’ll catch it!
One day in the 1980s my future mother-in-law received a piece of direct mail (which Hacker Group did NOT send to her) that had her first name and last name switched. Instead of Carol Grigg it was printed Grigg Carol. As if Grigg were her first name. But it got worse from there. There were typos on both names, so the actual mailing was sent to Grog Carp. Carp as in the fish. Grog as in the Swedish punch. It’s funny unless it happens to you.
At the end of each Top Gear, they challenge a celebrity guest to a time trial. The celebrity finishes the course and then gets ranked on the board to see if the show’s regulars were faster or slower than, say, Judy Densch. At Hacker Group we rely on a series of celebrities to get in the car one at a time and drive it just a little way. Account management, proofreading, data processing, Interactive, each has a part to play by the person that does it best. Flawless execution? You bet! (Just don’t ask Mrs. Grog.)