Writing about Informatica’s acquisition of Identity Systems, industry expert Jill Dyche offers a great perspective on MDM. This author of a number of very useful books on MDM, CRM, and data warehousing shared in a recent post that she sees the acquisition by Informatica as a good one for the company and the industry.
We recently talked about Identity Resolution’s relationship to BI and MDM. Jill mentions that Identity Resolution addresses or enhances five of eight core MDM functions identified in a CDI book she recently co-authored:
- A single point of data retrieval
- Consistent value representation
- An accurate and repeatable means of matching and merging data
- A repository of clean, reliable data
- Support of multiple data sources
When you first encounter the concept of Identity Resolution (also known as Entity Resolution and Analysis), it’s tempting to reduce it to matching similar names for de-duping. While Jill’s list includes that function and more, I’d add some that aren’t on her list. While similarity (or fuzzy) matching is the basic level of functionality needed to resolve identities, integrating three additional functions significantly enhances Identity Resolution’s value in managing corporate performance.
First, detecting hidden relationships to find out “who’s who and who knows whom” can really boost the value of the results. Now to really exploit the full power of Identity Resolution, add two more ingredients: first, a decisioning function that determines what the resolved identities and hidden relationships mean, and then a business processing function that links those decisions into existing business processes.
It’s heartening to see that Informatica’s acquisition of Identity Systems is increasing awareness and discussion of Identity Resolution. There’s a growing realization that it’s not just a “nice” feature but has become a mandatory feature of any good MDM solution.