The New Year in Identity Resolution

identity resolutionYou may divide doing identity resolution into these categories:

  • Hard core identity check
  • Light weight real world alignment
  • Digital identity resolution

Hard Core Identity Check

Some business processes requires a solid identity check. This is usually the case for example for credit approval and employment enrolment. Identity check is also part of criminal investigation and fighting terrorism.

Services for identity checks vary from country to country because of different regulations and different availability of reference data.

An identity check usually involves the entity who is being checked.

Light Weight Real World Alignment

In data quality improvement and Master Data Management (MDM) you often include some form of identity resolution in order to have your data aligned with the real world. For example when evaluating the result of a data matching activity with names and addresses, you will perform a lightweight identity resolution which leads to marking the matched results as true or false positives.

Doing such kind of identity resolution usually doesn’t involve the entity being examined.

Digital Identity Resolution

Our existence has increasingly moved to the online world. As discussed in the post Addressing Digital Identity this means that we also will need means to include digital identity into traditional identity resolution.

There are of course discussions out there about how far digital identity resolution should be possible. For example real name policy enforcement in social networks is indeed a hot topic.

Future Trends

With regard to digital identity resolution the jury is still out. In my eyes we can’t avoid that the economic consequences of the rising social sphere will affect the demand for knowing who is out there. Also the opportunities in establishing identity via digital footprints will be exploited.

My guess is that the distinction between hard core identity check and real world alignment in data quality improvement and MDM will disappear as reference data will become more available and the price of reference data will go down.

That’s why I’m right now working with a solution ( that combines identity check features and data universe into master data management with the possibility of adding digital identity into the mix.

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5 thoughts on “The New Year in Identity Resolution

  1. Prashanta C 31st December 2012 / 13:24

    Great post Henrik,

    Of all things, I guess the digital identity seems to be more challenging at the same time an interesting thing to look forward as we go to 2013.

    The buzz word being Social MDM, I tend to feel resolving the social identity of ‘parties’ we manage in MDM is crucial because it will provide answers to 3 important questions – Who are our customers in real life? What are they telling about my product? (Sentiment Analysis) and How can I leverage their network? (Network Analysis)

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 2nd January 2013 / 16:40

      Thanks for joining Prash. Indeed social MDM is going to be a hot topic in 2013 as the way businesses will approach the social sphere will mature.

  2. Dave Chamberlain 3rd January 2013 / 13:17

    The social MDM component also involves integration… Having good identity resolution makes it easier to link both what people are saying (sentiment) and their networks to operational data.

  3. Dave Chamberlain 3rd January 2013 / 13:20

    Really making the most of Social and the associated MDM aspects is also an integration problem – having good identity resolution/disambiguation makes it easier to link what people are saying about you, your brand and/or products (sentiment) and their networks with the appropriate operation systems. It is the integration of the two that bring real progress.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 4th January 2013 / 14:48

      I totally agree Dave. It’s about linking the new systems of engagement with the old systems of records.

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