Enrichment EvolutionIn my previous blog (Enriching the Universe of Customer Data) I made the following assertion: “Customer MDM is going well beyond its early role of merging multiple versions of customer records in order to create a single-version-of-truth. Of course, data governance is still very much about cleansing, matching and reconciliation. But once having stabilized customer master data, enrichment becomes the thing”.

Having thought some more about this, it strikes me that there could be a bit more explanation around what currently constitutes fixing essential data as opposed to enriching it. For example, data stewards may still consider providing missing or incomplete zip codes as enrichment. But since zip codes are a must-have for sales, marketing and logistics, their absence from the customer master record is unacceptable and must be fixed. 15 years ago, a direct marketer would insist on customer phone numbers in order to do business. Now a viable customer record must include email addresses as well, since they’ve long been considered essential (particularly in B-2-B transactions), to customer communication.

There’s no argument that fixing and standardizing names and addresses are basic DQ (and in the case of divergent, multiple systems), Master Data Management – or business data management functions. As a term, I consider data enrichment as an MDM or RDM (Reference Data Management) process that adds increased competitive value to business master data.

But with MDM vendors now responding to the Internet-of-Things and expanding the customer experience to include synchronization of sensor data, the scope for what's now considered to be essential business-basic, data is being expanded, as well. Data enrichment is increasingly driven by cutting edge innovations in IoT (smart phones, mobile devices, etc.) data collection.

Welcome to the enrichment evolution.

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