What are “Golden Records” and How Do You Create Them? Part 2
In part one of this article we discussed the reasons companies want to create golden records, also known as a Single Customer View (SCV) or “Master Records”. Then we described two processes essential in the path to golden record creation – standardization and matching.
You can read Part One of this article HERE.
Golden records allow companies to increase sales using predictable analytics to identify likely sales triggers for individual customers. Because of golden records, customers feel companies know them better as individuals. Companies retain more customers that make crossover or repeat purchases.
For business executives, golden records eliminate time wasted in attempts to reconcile information stored in data silos across the enterprise. Projected outcomes from decisions become more reliable, allowing organizations to grow more rapidly.
In Part Two we continue the discussion, focusing on the remaining operations organizations must execute to reach their SCV goals.
Cleansing and Enhancement
Data quality software cleanses data by correcting or eliminating information that has no value. Email addresses with missing characters, numeric or special characters where only alpha is appropriate, social security numbers with missing digits, or account numbers that don’t meet verification routines like check digit calculations are good examples of data that technicians may safely remove.
Companies may also remove orphaned data from databases. Corrupted files might include detail records with no links to master data, for instance.
Enhancement occurs when data quality software uses outside information to raise the value of the data on hand. Companies might add credit scores provided by credit reporting agencies, for example, to segment prospects based on their credit worthiness. In other cases, customer demographic information might enhance existing data allowing companies to target customers more precisely with relevant and compelling marketing messages.
Data enhancement can also be useful for regulatory compliance. When companies append longitude and latitude to physical customer locations for instance, they can be assured of following local regulations or calculating taxes or fees more accurately.
Consolidation is the step that finally produces the golden record, but it can only occur after data quality teams have standardized, matched, cleansed, and enhanced the data. Careful analysis is required. Errant consolidation can produce data records containing information from more than one customer. Marketing or strategic business decisions based on such data could cause embarrassing or expensive mistakes, including privacy violations. Most companies rely on specialized data quality software in the consolidation step rather than attempting to build a solution in-house.
Accurately consolidated data is the gateway to several functions companies are eager to implement. A single customer view allows departments in dispersed parts of a corporation to be aware of individual customer interactions across the enterprise. They can avoid conflicting messaging and duplicate efforts. With golden records, companies can recognize the true value and status of every customer and act accordingly, in real time.
Pursuit of golden records is a worthy goal. Customers expect companies to treat them as individuals. Tolerance for non-specific or irrelevant messaging is waning. With customer experience expected to eclipse price as the most important differentiating factor among competing companies, organizations are taking extraordinary steps to improve the way they interact with individual customers. Maintaining complete and accurate data, in the form of golden records, is the only way to accomplish this objective.