Fuzzy Social Identities in the Data Quality Realm

In the past years social networks has emerged as a new source of external reference data for Master Data Management (MDM). But surely, there are challenges with the data quality related to this source.

Let’s look at a few examples from inside the data quality tool vendor space.

Who is head of Informatica in the social sphere?

There is a twitter account owned by Sohaib Abbasi:

Sohaib Abbasi

Informatica is one of the leading data quality tool vendors and the CEO there is Sohaib Abbasi.

So, is this the real world individual behind the twitter handle @sabbasi the head of Informatica?

A social graph should indicate so: There’s a bunch of Informatica accounts and people following the handle (though that’s not worth the trouble as there is no tweets coming from there).

What about the one behind Data Ladder?

Data Ladder is another data quality tool provider, thought with a fraction of revenue compared to Informatica.

In a recent post I stumbled upon a strange situation around this company. In the social sphere the company for the last seven years has been represented by a guy called Simon as seen here on LinkedIn:

Simon aka Nathan

But I have reasons to believe that his real world identity is Nathan as explored in the comments to this post.


Data Quality tool vendors: It’s time to get real.

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6 thoughts on “Fuzzy Social Identities in the Data Quality Realm

  1. Ralf Becher 18th March 2013 / 22:08

    Social media doesn’t literally mean reality.. 😉

  2. JoukoSalonen 18th March 2013 / 22:24

    A couple of weeks ago I visited one of the R&D labs in Sophia Antipolis. There I saw something the local people there called holistic and dynamic identity management. The system all the time estimated several “facets” of the identity and showed how certain it was of the identity/that particular facet. The percentage of certainty of one facet rarely climbed to 100% unless the system could connect some biometrics with a passport – even then the system was typically not happy with the quality of some of the fingerprints so it tried to improve there. The idea that I found interesting was something that differs from your “towards better and better data quality” way of thinking. There they seemed to think that sometimes (from the one and same individual) they get better quality data, then again it gets fuzzier, one moment you think you know enough of this individual, then again you are not sure who he is and so on … So the idea of data quality – vs. living, moving, willing and changing entity in all it’s dimensionality?

  3. John Owens 19th March 2013 / 00:26

    The reality is that there is no absolute unique identifier for a Party in business, it all depends on the overall context or ‘Worldview’.

    For example, the unique identifier for an enterprise such as IBM might be one thing if you are the Internal Revenue Services of the United States and quite another thing if you are a local enterprise doing business with IBM branches in Texas.

    A very powerful question to ask when trying to establish what the unique identifier of a party is within your enterprise is, “What is it, with regard to our enterprise, that makes one occurrence of Party uniquely different from every other occurrence of Party (within our enterprise)?”

    For the local business in Texas it is very likely that IBM Dallas, IBM Austin and IBM Fort Worth are all uniquely different entities (in the context of their business) when it comes to sales, service and billing.


  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 19th March 2013 / 09:03

    Thanks Ralf, Jouko and John for commenting.

    All valid comments in my eyes.

  5. AFFÄRSBLOGGEN- Bernt-Olof Hellgren 19th March 2013 / 09:15

    Social media is a real powerful source of information about a subject, customer, vendor, product etc. But I really believe that global working companies still have to focus on the leagally correct information about their customers and vendors first before exploring the social networks possibilities. There are the big quickwins. After doing that they are more suited to explore the social sphere.

  6. Chris Froy 19th March 2013 / 11:17

    I have always believed data quality refers to tools and processes that result in the creation of correct, complete and accurate data to help support sound decision-making.
    How ironic (and frankly disturbing) is this when we have a data quality company being run (in this case Data Ladder by Nathan Krol) in a way that totally goes against the meaning of data quality! It seems intriguing and fascinating why Nathan is hiding behind a mask, perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye?


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