A few months ago on this site, I railed against multiple systems and applications. Attacking Netflix and my own home security company (in Dual is a Four-Letter Word, Part II), I argued that maintaining separate accounts and logins for similar if not identical purposes was just plain bad business.
Well, I’m pleased to report that consumers and I have won both of our Data Duels. Last year, Netflix famously reversed course and abandoned its silly decision to split its service. Then, a few weeks ago, my home security company (call it HSC here) announced that it was finally consolidating its multiple customer accounts across the board. From the HSC email, “Now you can manage all aspects of your account in one place, with one username and password.”
I could just hear the Rush song “One Little Victory” playing in the background.
Master Data: Convenience or Necessity?
In the case of HSC, the account consolidation was deemed an enhancement. Interesting spin. I’d argue that the company should have maintained one account for all of its customers from the beginning. One master record is more than a convenience – or at least it should be. Think table stakes – and not just for customers. As readers of this blog know, splintered employee, customer and product records merely:
- compromise data integrity
- reduce data quality
- irritate end users and customers alike
- result in poor(er) business decisions
I could go on, but you get my drift.
Simon Says: Get the Little Data Right First
As Jim Harris recently wrote on this site, “Big Data will deliver more signals, not just more noise, but will we always be able to tell difference?” Great point from a smart cookie. I’d only add that we have to get Little Data right first. That is, the effectiveness of all of our sophisticated tools and methodologies erode when confronted with bad data. Take steps to improve individual records and you’ll get more out of Big Data.
What say you?
“The Big Data Theory.”