Key features of pdSurname

Peacock Data released their pdSurname last name software package early last month, and since then it has proven to be their fastest starting new-product launch. Barbara Adair, spokesperson for the west coast-based company, sat down for an interview about the key features of the new software.

The product literature says pdSurname is designed to facilitate finding last names that are not exactly the same but variations or phonetically similar.

Barbara Adair explained, “Often the same person winds up in multiple places on a list because transcribers enter the name slightly differently each time, such as ‘Johnson’ verses ‘Johnsson’, ‘Jonson’, and ‘Joneson’. This can lead to significantly increased costs, notably reduced quality in customer service, and even lawsuits.”

“This is particularly critical in the medical industry where patient records frequently can be in multiple places with slightly different versions of a name. This has lead to terrible consequences in some instances, along with unnecessary medical procedures and generally reduced medical care in many other instances,” the spokesperson exclaimed.

According to Barbara Adair, “The base product includes both true name tree variations gathered from onomastic research, such as ‘Hutchens’ verses ‘Hutchins’ and ‘Parker’ verses ‘Parkers’, along with names that are not true variations, but rather sound or are spelled similarly, such as ‘Gonzalez’ verses ‘Gunsalus’ and ‘Davis’ verses ‘Davisse’.”

“There are also special features built in for last names with prefixes like ‘Mc’, ‘Mac’, ‘O’, ‘De’, ‘La’, ‘Van’, ‘Al’ and ‘St’, which allows us to match names like ‘Garcia’ with ‘De Garcia’ and ‘Van Der Zant’ with ‘Van Zant’ and ‘Zant’, which are possibilities missed by other products,” she added.
Because many possibilities can be returned from a pdSurname query, the software includes a match quality score based on a 1 to 99 scale to order the results from most likely to least likely, which is also a feature usually missing in other products.

As a bonus, in addition to showing related names, the product is enhanced with demographics for each of the more than 335,000 surname formations provided.

“All names give the racial percentage of use for whites, blacks, Hispanics and Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and multiracial use,” the spokesperson explained. “And most names also include the language or languages of origin and usage, which covers more than 600 languages, dialects, and ethnic groups.”

Barbara Adair noted, “An enhanced Pro edition offers additional matches based on common misspellings and other typographical errors that frequently appear in lists of names. These are derived from a set of new algorithms we call ‘Fuzzy Logic Generation 2.0’ which can pick up such typos as ‘Berryman’ misspelled as ‘Beryman’, missing the double ‘r’, and ‘Polheimer’ phonetically transcribed as ‘Poolhimer’.”

The product literature indicates fuzzy logic generation 2.0 has five layers:

  • Phonetic misspellings
  • Reversed digraphs
  • Double-letter misspellings
  • Missed keystrokes
  • String manipulations

“The new surname software is similar to our pdNickname package, which has been in the field for more than two decades successfully doing for first names, nicknames, and diminutives what pdSurname now does for last names,” Barbara Adair noted.
She added, “In addition to its use for businesses and organizations working with lists of names, all our names software is recommended for genealogical and scholarly research.”

“The new software package is a one-of-a-kind proprietary product that allows users to complete projects with significantly more success and in ways that were not possible before,” concluded Barbara Adair. “It is a very exciting time for Peacock Data and our many customers.”

PDSURNAME SPECIFICATIONS

The software comes in Standard and Pro editions. Both include the same names and features except the Pro version comes equipped with fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic allows matching when lists have misspellings or other typographical errors. The Standard edition has everything except fuzzy logic.

Total name records: Pro: 109,932,801; Standard: 81,079,801
Zipped size: Pro: 1.2 GB; Standard: 962 MB
Extracted size: Pro: 22.9 GB; Standard: 16.8 GB
Introductory Price: Pro: $371.25; Standard: $224.25

The package also features precision documentation and a perpetual site license allowing installation on all computers in the same building within a single company or organization.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: VISIT THE PDSURNAME WEBPAGE >>

pdSurname is also part of the company’s pdSuite Names (now on sale, $645) and pdSuite Master Collection (now on sale, $795) software bundles.

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