Learn From Your Junk Mail: Use MDM to De-duplicate Data

August 12 2014

Author: Chad Cosper

How many of us have gone to the mailbox to find multiple catalogs from the same retailer? Are they nuts? Why are they wasting money sending two or three copies of the same catalog to one person? And, aside from their wasteful mistake, what does it say about their brand? Does your perception of the retailer diminish when you receive catalogs addressed to “J. Doe,” “John Doe” and “Jonathan Doe”?

This example of duplicated data is classic – because it is easily recognizable.
However, this example is quickly fading from our culture, and it’s certainly not because retailers are using the lucrative print channel less. Anyone who has checked a mailbox recently know that, to paraphrase a popular misquote of the great American author Mark Twain, reports of the death of the print industry are greatly exaggerated. Rather, most successful retailers have learned that Master Data Management (MDM) tools and processes to de-duplicate customer accounts and improve data accuracy can significantly reduce these unnecessary costs. However, that doesn’t mean that they have eliminated all of the potential issues with inaccurate and de-duplicated data.

All data domains suffer from inaccurate, duplicated data and while receiving multiple catalogs from a retailer illustrates the problem best, seeing slightly different product descriptions, specifications, or even prices, in one channel, like print, and another, like the web, can have equally disastrous effects on sales and brand image.
Eliminating duplicate data for products, customers, locations or assets requires a true multi-domain MDM solution. It should include an integrated master data approach for all data domains with a common data model and governance framework based on a single technology system.

An effective data governance framework that includes embedded tools for import enables the easy acquisition of information from internal sources of data along with external 3rd party data sources. Once the data is integrated into a central repository, data quality tools allow stewards to clean and validate the information and create master data entities based on an extensible data model and matching / linking rules that enable both automatic and manual linking based on a clerical review threshold.

Just because your enterprise doesn’t send out multiple catalogs to the same person any longer, don’t assume that there isn’t more duplicate data wasting your money and hindering your sales. Protect your brand with a comprehensive data governance strategy that includes a seamless MDM solution.

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