Catch Bad Data Before It Wrecks Your Business
With some thought, you and your data quality vendor can come up with many of these hybrid scenarios—ones in which data enhancement is used for both analytical and operational purposes, including data standardization and cleansing—all with a focus on improved business functions.
5. Record Linkage and Matching
You might not realize how broad your electronic footprint really is. Do you have any idea how many data sets contain information about any specific individual? These days, any interaction you have with any organization is likely to be documented electronically. And, any time you fill out a form or respond to one survey or another, more information about you is captured. Remember that registration card you filled out for the toaster you bought? The survey you filled out to get that free subscription? Didn't you subscribe to some magazine about fishing and other outdoor activities? How about that contest you entered at the county fair?
Actually, you are not the only one collecting your information. Did you buy a house? Home sales are reported to the state and the data is made available, including address, sales price and often the amount of your mortgage. Wedding announcements, birth announcements and obituaries log lifecycle events.
Every single one of these artifacts captures more than just some information about an individual—it also captures the time and place that information is captured, sometimes with accurate precision (such as the time of an online order) or less precision (such as the day the contest entry was collected from the box. There are many distributed sources of information about customers, and each individual piece of collected data holds a little bit of value. But when these distributed pieces of data are merged together, they can be used to reconstruct an incredibly insightful profile of the customer.
Greg Brown is vice president of Melissa, provider of global contact data quality and identity verification solutions that span the entire data quality lifecycle and integrate into CRM, e-commerce, master data management and Big Data platforms. Connect with Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn.