Multi-Purpose Data Quality

Say you are an organisation within charity fundraising. Since many years you had a membership database and recently you also introduced an eShop with related accessories.

The membership database holds the following record (Name, Address, City, YearlyContribution):

  •  Margaret & John Smith, 1 Main Street, Anytown, 100 Euro

The eShop system has the following accounts (Name, Address, Place, PurchaseInAll):

  • Mrs Margaret Smith, 1 Main Str, Anytown, 12 Euro
  • Peggy Smith, 1 Main Street, Anytown, 218 Euro
  • Local Charity c/o Margaret Smith, 1 Main Str, Anytown, 334 Euro

Now the new management wants to double contributions from members and triple eShop turnover. Based on the recommendations from “The One Truth Consulting Company” you plan to do the following:

  • Establish a platform for 1-1 dialogue with your individual members and customers
  • Analyze member and customer behaviour and profiles in order to:
    • Support the 1-1 dialogue with existing members and customers
    • Find new members and customers who are like your best members and customers

As the new management wants to stay for many years ahead, the solution must not be a one-shot exercise but must be implemented as a business process reengineering with a continuous focus on the best fit data governance, master data management and data (information) quality.

question-marksSo, what are you going to do with your data so they are fit for action with the old purposes and the new purposes?

Recently I wrote some posts related to these challenges:

Any other comments on the issues in how to do it are welcome.

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3 thoughts on “Multi-Purpose Data Quality

  1. Jim Harris 24th September 2009 / 15:23


    Thanks for a thought provoking post on a critically important topic.

    Using an excellent real-world example definitely helps this discussion. In your example, we are a charity fundraising organization with two separate systems designed and maintained for two different purposes – (1) charitable donations from members and (2) purchases of related accessories from customers.

    Although the transaction data (donations and sales) are unique and should continue to be tracked separately, the master data (members and customers) would appear to be something that the “The One Truth Consulting Company” will recommend be consolidated.

    Perhaps, they will advocate creating a Party master object with two Roles (Member, Customer) and two Types (Person, Organization) with the donation and sales transaction data tied to these new master objects.

    Imagine, they would probably say, being able to aggregate a Total Party Value Metric, which would represent the sum of all donations and sales to indicate the very best customers and members, allowing “cross-sell” analysis (i.e. if our high value parties have most of the transactions in donations, let’s try to also get them to buy more related accessories – perhaps by offering them a special discount).

    All of this sounds great in theory.

    The challenge is the Party Consolidation Process – do we consolidate your provided examples into one party (Local Charity c/o Margaret Smith, 1 Main Street, Anytown) with a Total Party Value Metric of 564 Euro?

    I will stop here for now and allow you and others to comment.

    Best Regards…


  2. Phil Allen 25th September 2009 / 12:26

    I agree there’s a consolidation exercise to be done. In the process though we have to make sure that we don’t lose any of the detail.
    We will have a different business relationship with members than that of customers (as in Jim’s suggestion). Obviously Margaret Smith is valuable as she fits both roles. Lets not forget John Smith – he probably deserves an entry in his own right. Maybe we could get him to buy something for Margaret. Perhaps we need a parent group of members containing children Margaret & John.
    Similarly the organisation ‘Local Charity’ may need to be a parent group with child Margaret Smith as main contact. There may be other people in the charity that could be contacted at a future date (potential customers).
    The purpose of the ‘group’ entities would be to rationalise any contacts made. E.g. It would be wasteful to send 2 mails to Margaret & John.

  3. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 27th September 2009 / 17:39

    Thanks a lot for your input Jim and Phil.

    Consolidating Master Data have been a significant part of my working life, so I’ve written a new post with a suggestion for how to do it here and added some new questions to follow.

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