Golden Copy Musings

In a recent blog post by Jim Harris called Data Quality is not an Act, it is a Habit the term “golden mean” was mentioned.   

As I commented, mentioning the “golden mean” made me think about the terms “golden copy” and “golden record” which are often used terms in data quality improvement and master data management.

In using these terms I think we mostly are aiming on achieving extreme uniqueness. But we should rather go for symmetry, proportion, and harmony.

The golden copy subject is very timely for me as I this weekend is overseeing the execution of the automated processes that create a baseline for a golden copy of party master data at a franchise operator for a major brand in car rental.

In car rental you are dealing with many different party types. You have companies as customers and prospects and you have individuals being contacts at the companies, employees using the cars rented by the companies and individuals being private renters. A real world person may have several of these roles. Besides that we have cases of mixed identities.

During a series of workshops we have worked with defining the rules for merge and survivorship in the golden copy. Though we may be able to go for extreme uniqueness in identifying real world companies and persons this may not necessary serve the business needs and, like it or not, be capable of being related back into the core systems used in daily business.

Therefore this golden copy is based on a beautiful golden mean exposing symmetry, proportion, and harmony.

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2 thoughts on “Golden Copy Musings

  1. Jim Harris 23rd October 2010 / 17:55

    Golden Post, Henrik 🙂

    I really like your application of the golden mean to the process of defining business rules for creating golden copies, where, as you said, extreme uniqueness may not either serve the business needs or be capable of linking back into the core systems used in daily operations.

    Since your project is with a franchise operator for a major brand in car rental, I am curious if there is a similar need for a Product Golden Copy for the cars?

    In similar scenarios, I have seen inconsistencies in the records describing the product inventory, which are usually stored in a large free-form text field. In your specific case, I am wondering if an accurate inventory of available cars for rental is an issue.

    Perhaps I am asking because in the United States, I have often encountered difficulties renting a car because of inventory issues. In other words, the system said my reserved car was available, but it was not physically at the rental location, or the same physical car was reserved to multiple renters because of duplicate inventory records.

    Best Regards,


  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 24th October 2010 / 11:27

    Jim, thanks for the comment.

    The project I’m involved with here is a single domain master data management project aimed at party master data, where we have millions of rows to be processed.

    Your description of the problems with getting a booked car sounds peculiar with the technology available today. So there are surely needs around to be fulfilled for companies in order to have better technology and/or business processes in place for delivering better customer experience.

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