When finding or avoiding duplicates or doing similar kind of consolidation with party master data you will encounter lots of situations, where it is disputable what to do.
The “political correct” answer is: Depends on your business rules.
Yea right. Easier said than done.
Often you face the following:
- Business rules doesn’t exist. Decisions are based on common sense.
- Business rules differs between data providers.
Lets have an example.
We have these business rules (Owner, Brief):Finance, No sales and deliveries to dissolved business entities Logistics, Access to premises must be stated in Address2 if different from Address1 Sales, Every event must be registered with an active contact Customer Service, In case of duplicate contacts the contact with the first event date wins
In a CRM system we have these 2 accounts (AccountID, CompanyName, Address1, Address2, City):1, Restaurant San Remo, 2 Main Street, entrance thru no 4, Anytown 2, Ristorante San Remo, 2 Main Street, , Anytown
Also we have some contacts (AccountID, ContactID, JobTitle, ContactName, Status, StartYear. EventCount):1, 1, Manager, Luigi Calda, Inactive, 2001, 2 1, 2, Chef de la Cusine, John Hothead, Active, 2002, 87 2, 1, Chef de la Cuisine, John Hothead, Duplicate, 2008, 2 2, 2, Owner, Gordon Testy, Active, 2008, 7
We are so lucky that a business directory is available now. Here we have (NationalID, Name, Address, City, Owner, Status):3, Ristorante San Remo, 2 Main Street, Anytown, Luigi Calda, Dissolved 4, Ristorante San Remo, 2 Main Street, Anytown, Gordon Testy, Active
So, I don’t think we will produce a golden view of this business relationship based on the data (structure) available and the business rules available.
Building and aligning business rules and data structures to solve this example – and a lot of other examples with different challenges – may seem difficult and are often omitted in the name of simplicity. But:
- Master data – not at least business partners – is a valuable asset in the enterprise, so why treat it with simplicity while we do complex handling with a lot of other (transaction) data.
- Common sense may help you a lot. Many of these questions are not specific to your business but are shared among most other enterprises in your industry and many others in the whole real world.
- I guess the near future will bring increased number of available services with software and external data support that helps a lot in selecting common business rules and apply these in the master data processing landscape.