In 1977, the Voyager program launched two unmanned spacecraft, which, although designated to study just the planets Jupiter and Saturn, continued their mission into the outer solar system, and recently left our solar system, becoming the farthest human-made objects from Earth, and, thankfully, they still occasionally transmit data describing their interstellar journey back to our Pale Blue Dot.
Included aboard both Voyager spacecraft was a Golden Record that contained sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on the planet Earth, and that was intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or future humans, who may find them.
Carl Sagan, who chaired the committee that selected the contents of the Voyager Golden Record, which included images, natural sounds (e.g., surf, wind, thunder, songs of birds and whales), musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings in fifty-five languages, noted:
“The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space.
But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”
And U.S. President Jimmy Carter included this printed message on the Voyager Golden Record:
“This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings.
We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”
One of the business benefits of master data management (MDM) is creating a single view of master data entities such as Customer (or more accurately, a Party playing a Customer role) by creating a MDM Golden Record to portray the diversity of available data describing each unique customer.
Sometimes I wonder if it was easier for Sagan’s committee to select the contents of the Voyager Golden Record than it is for organizations to select the contents of their MDM Golden Records.
However, once created, the MDM Golden Records are then launched on a voyage of their own within the solar system of our enterprise, intended for any business-intelligent life form who may find them.
The launching of the MDM Golden Records says something very hopeful about the business activities conducted within our enterprise. Hopefully, they allow us to understand things such as how many customers we actually have, and hopefully they represent the most accurate, timely, consistent, and complete data we have available to describe our customers.
Has your organization launched the Voyage of the Golden Records?
In other words, has your organization launched a MDM program? If so, please transmit data describing the progress of the voyage of your MDM Golden Records by posting a comment below.