The quality of contact master data is the number one data quality issue around.
Lately there has been a lot of momentum among data quality tool providers in offering services for getting at least the postal address in contact data right. The new services are improved by:
- Being cloud based offering validation services that are implemented at data entry and based on fresh reference data.
- Being international and thus providing address validation for customer and other party data embracing a globalized world.
Capturing an address that is aligned with the real world may have a significant effect on business outcomes as reported by the tool vendor WorldAddresses in a recent blog post.
However, a valid address based on address reference data only tells you if the address is valid, not if the addressee is (still) on the address, and you are not sure if the name and other master data elements are accurate and complete. Therefore you often need to combine address reference data with other big reference data sources as business directories and consumer/citizen reference sources.
Using business directories is not new at all. Big reference sources as the D&B WorldBase and many other directories have been around for many years and been a core element in many data quality initiatives with customer data in business-to-business (B2B) environments and with supplier master data.
Combining address reference data and business entity reference data makes things even better, also because business directories doesn’t always come with a valid address.
Using public available reference data when registering private consumers, employees and other citizen roles has until now been practiced in some industries and for special reasons. Therefore the big reference data and the services are out there and being used today in some business processes.
Mashing up address reference data, business entity reference data and consumer/citizen reference data is a big opportunity for many organizations in the quest for high quality contact master data, as most organizations actually interact with both companies and private persons if we look at the total mix of business processes.
The next big source is going to be exploiting social network profiles as well. As told in the post Social Master Data Management social media will be an additional source of knowledge about our business partners. Again, you won’t find the full truth here either. You have to mashup all the sources.