Does Acxiom Corp. Know Your Height and Weight

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MGT 186 Lab Exercise 1

Title: Does Acxiom Corp. Know Your Height and Weight?
It may seem like an odd question considering that most people have never even heard of Acxiom Corp., but the answer may surprise you. Acxiom specializes in providing information to organizations that want to market products and services. Since the mid-1980s, Acxiom has been gathering information and building a special file called InfoBase. InfoBase now contains some or all of the following facts on 195 million Americans: home ownership, age, estimated income, cars owned, occupation, buying habits, types of credit cards used, children and even height and weight. In 1995 alone, Acxiom sifted through the InfoBase file and created prospect lists totaling 3.7 billion people. Consider what Acxiom has done for the two organizations below.

Marriott Vacation Club International: Just like Disney Resort who sells time-share vacation to prospect customers, Marriott Club Vacation International is exploiting all types of information in hopes of selling vacation time shares. Initially, Marriott provided Acxiom with a list of names, mostly hotel guests. Then Acxiom sifts through motor vehicle records, property records, warranty records, and list of people who have made purchases through the mail in search of Marriott’s hotel guests. When a match is found, Acxiom provides additional information such as children’s age, what cars they drive, and even if they play golf.

Allstate Corp.: For Allstate, Acxiom retrieves an insurance applicant’s credit reports, driving records, claims history, and family relationships (just in case you have a relative who likes to speed). Acxiom then electronically passes that information to Allstate’s automated underwriting system. Because of the speed with which Acxiom can provide the information, Allstate can confirm a price on a new policy in 1 to 5 days, down from 35 days in 1989.

Questions:
1. What is the role of information technology at Acxiom? Could it...
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