Name, address and place are core attributes in almost any database. You may atomize these attributes into smaller slices, but in doing that: Mind the sequence.
When working with data matching and party master data management some of the frequent exposed issues are:
Often a person name is split into first name and last name, but even when assigning these labels you are on slippery ground. Examples:
- In some cultures like in east Asia the family name is written first and the given name is written last.
- Some notations indicate that the given name isn’t the first element:
- “DUPONT Michel” is a custom French way of telling, that the family name is the first element
- “Smith, John” is an universal way of telling, that the family name is the first element
Besides that we have issues with middle names and other three part naming and having salutation, education and job titles mixed up in name fields.
Most of the world is divided into two “street address” cultures:
- In the Americas you write the house number in front of street name if you are north of Rio Grande being US and CA, but you write the house number after the street name if you are south of Rio Grande being MeXico, BRazil, ARgentina and almost any other country.
- In Europe you write the house number in front of street name if you are on the British Isles or in France, but you write the house number after the street name if you are in almost any other country.
- The rest of the world is also divided in writing street addresses.
Besides that we have other ways of writing addresses like the block style in Japan.
Despite the fact that a city name in most cases can be obtained by looking up the postal code we often do store the city name anyway – for those cases that we can’t.
And if the postal code and the city name is in one string: Oh yes, in some cultures you write the city name in front of the postal code and in other cultures you do it the opposite way. And oh no: It doesn’t necessary follow the sequence of the house number and street name.
In a blog post written a while ago we also had a look into postal address hierarchy, granularity, precision and history.