muThe term ”Mu” has several meanings including being a lost continent. In this post I will use the meaning of “mu” being the answer to a question that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” or even “unknown” as explained on Wikipedia here.

When working with data quality you often encounter situations where the answer to a simple question must be “mu”.

Let’s say you are looking for duplicates in a customer file and have these two rows (Name, Address, City):

Margaret Smith, 1 Main Street, Anytown
Margaret & John Smith, 1 Main Street, Anytown

Is this a duplicate situation?

In a given context like preparing for a direct mail the answer could be “yes”. But in most other contexts the answer is “mu”. Here the question should be something like: How do you handle hierarchy management with these two rows? And the answer could be something like the process presented in my recent post here.

Similar considerations apply to this example (Name, Address, City):

One Truth Consultants att: John Smith, 3 Main Street, Anytown
One Truth Consultants Ltd, 3 Main Street, Anytown

And this (Contact, Company, Address, City):

John Smith, One Truth Consultants, 3 Main Street, Anytown
John Smith, One Truth Services, 3 Main Street, Anytown

The latter example is explained in more details in this post.

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