It is usually nice to be mistaken for someone famous. It is especially nice if they are talented, athletic, or attractive.
You might resemble a rock legend and use that talent to bring joy to Parkinson’s Disease patients. Or you might be a look-alike for a superstar quarterback. Or maybe people mistake you for another quarterback’s top fan.
Then again, you could be employed as Saddam Hussein’s look-alike.
Or “you” might be a product that resembles another “product” (er, illegal substance).
Or you could be the computer programmer saddled by an unfortunate name in Mike Judge’s cult-classic movie “Office Space”:
Michael Bolton: There was nothing wrong with it… until I was about 12 years old and that no-talent a** clown became famous and started winning Grammys.
Samir: Hmm… well why don’t you just go by Mike instead of Michael?
Michael Bolton: No way. Why should I change? He’s the one who s*cks.
Sometimes identity resolution is hard for folks to correctly categorize. That’s because it resembles a number of other technologies. So when you explain it to the uninitiated, if you see their light bulb begin to glow, it’s likely the wrong light bulb.
They interrupt to say, “Oh, so it’s the same thing as _______,” where the blank is filled with one or more of the following:
- customer data integration (CDI)
- data cleansing
- data integration
- data profiling
- data quality
- data warehousing
- de-duping/record linkage
- master data management (MDM)
But it’s not the same thing.
That is a natural reaction. When faced with something new, we like to align it with an existing concept, file it in a familiar folder, or check a pre-positioned box on our mental grid. And it’s always nice to have it already covered by other technologies that we are currently deploying or that are in our roadmap.
But in the case of identity resolution, that would be a mistake. Identity resolution differs significantly from most of those other technologies.
The good news is that identity resolution is also very complementary to existing solutions and can resolve unique problems left unresolved by its cousins. And it typically doesn’t bring the same discomfort to an organization, its infrastructure, and its pocketbook that they do.
So what is identity resolution? How does it compare to those other technologies? What unique value does it bring to the table? Well, that’s a big topic that we’ll be posting on repeatedly in coming months.
In the meantime, please let us know your impressions of identity resolution’s relatives by clicking the “Comments” link below and leaving a reply.
- Does your enterprise use them?
- How long did they take to deploy?
- Have they met your expectations?
- What pains were you trying to address?
- What pains remain?
Or just tell us who people commonly mistake you for. We always like to hear from our readers.