As discussed in my last post a core part of many Data Quality tools is Data Matching. Data Matching is about linking entities in or between databases, where these entities are not already linked with unique keys.
Data Matching may be deployed in some different ways, where I have been involved in the following ones:
External Service Provider
Here your organization sends extracted data sets to an external service provider where the data are compared and also in many cases related to other reference sources all through matching technology. The provider sends back a “golden copy” ready for uploading in your databases.
Some service provider’s uses a Data Matching tool from the market and others has developed own solutions. Many solutions grown at the providers are country specific equipped with a lot of tips and tricks learned from handling data from that country over the years.
The big advantage here is that you gain from the experience – and the reference data collection – at these providers.
You may implement a data quality tool from the market and use it for comparing your own data often from disparate internal sources in order to grow the “golden copy” at home.
Many MDM (Master Data Management) products have some matching capabilities build in.
Also many leading Business Intelligence tool providers supplement the offering with a (integrated) Data Quality tool with matching capabilities as an answer to the fact, that Business Intelligence on top of duplicated data doesn’t make sense.
Many data quality tool vendors provide plug-ins to popular ERP, CRM and SCM solutions so that data are matched with existing records at the point of entry. For the most popular such solutions as SAP and MS CRM there is multiple such plug-in’s from different Data Quality technology providers. Then again many implementation houses have a favorite combination – so in that way you select the matching tool by selecting an implementation house.
The embedded technology is of course not optimal where you operate with several databases and the commercial bundling may also not be the actual best solution for you.
Here Service Oriented Architecture thinking helps, so that matching services are available as SOA components at any point in your IT landscape based on centralized rule setting.
Cloud computing services offered from external service providers takes the best from these two worlds into one offering.
Here the SOA component resides at the external service provider – in best case combining an advanced matching tool, rich external reference data and the tips and tricks for your particular country and industry in question.