Leaner Is Meaner: The Keys to Effective Customer Record Deduplication

It often happens that the information for the same customer is entered differently by the different departments of your business. The result is that the customer may have many different entries in your customer database, but what instance should you use? If a customer changed jobs, moved, or was there was an error in data entry, you still only want to have one master record to track any communication or engagement with the customer. These multiple customer records are one of the major causes of data quality problems. It can distort your sales reports and cause problems other systems such as billing, accounts receivable, and shipping. It can even damage your brand when the customer receives the same offer or appeal multiple times. These are just a few reasons why customer record deduplication is essential for maintaining the integrity of your customer database so it remains accurate and up-to-date.

What Is Record Deduplication and How Does It Work?

Record deduplication, also known as “record linking,” “data matching,” “co-reference problem,” or “entity resolution,” is the process of eliminating duplicate records from a database or a dataset so that only one equivalent instance is stored. Customer record deduplication software inspects and analyzes each record to determine whether an equivalent instance of the records is stored in the same database, but in a different format. The objective is to consolidate and remove redundant instances of the same customer record. Record deduplication is driven by the process of entity resolution, a process by which different types of records and references to the same entity, or customer, are group together by a unique identifier for maximum efficiency.

Clarity Through Entity Resolution

In order to understand why record deduplication is so important, you must understand entity resolution as a whole. Entity resolution is the process of resolving multiple ambiguous references or mentions of an individual, business, or object (entity) into a single resolved entity. Records that have been linked together through entity resolution can then be leveraged for more insight into your customer base. Your business may have multiple references to the same client in your system from different forms, logins, and other inputs, which may cause a more difficult CRM process. Utilizing customer deduplication software powered by entity resolution allows your business to dramatically reduce the complexity of your customer database.

What the Wrong Big Data Costs You

Along with the short-term, real world consequences of bad records, you also limit your ability to analyze your own progress in the market. If your big data is full of duplicates and non-unique entity representations, there is no way you can take stock of who is really buying your product. You will not be able to group your audience into the appropriate tiers for future marketing campaigns. Furthermore, the wrong data will have you sending the wrong marketing message to customers, an action that can get you blocked from further communication with that customer.

Black Oak Analytics employs High Performance Entity Resolution (HiPER), an entity identity information management (EIIM) system that allows you to effectively identify and market to a targeted audience with increased efficiency through entity matching and resolution.

If you are interested in in learning more about how your business can benefit from customer record deduplication, contact Black Oak Analytics today at (877) 805-0736 or request a consultation to learn more about our HiPER platform.

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