JUL 6, 2012 9:01am ET

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Comments (7)
This article is specious - it's like claiming that banging two rocks together keeps away tigers. Why? Because there aren't any tigers around here. It simply moves the problem from one part of the architecture to another - it suggests nothing to actually solve it. Consider customer data in the B2B world: Which of a company's employees has the knowledge to represent sufficient facts? If it's more than one employee, do they all have the same info and present it the same? Do they present it the same way as every other company's employees? Is each company expected to maintain itself in each and every of its suppliers' systems? The employees of one company who interact with the employees of another company on a daily basis (think AR/AP/inquiry) are low level - they aren't paid nor trained to consider the master data implications of what they do. This article is academic - no basis in practicality.
Posted by Steven B | Monday, July 09 2012 at 12:51PM ET
I see what you're trying to say here, but the way I would present it would be to focus on the fact that no one knows your customer information more than your customer. From a data quality process perspective you should build in policies to occassionally validate and verify customer information when you have a live touch point with your customer no matter the channel (phone, Web, in store, kiosk, mobile, etc). But there's always the balance of ensuring great data vs. annoying and delaying your customer though - customer experience must be considered here.

But to call these customers the data owners of THEIR customer data for YOUR business doesn't make much sense to me. Yes, if I'm a customer of an insurance company or bank I am self-motivated to ensure my customer information is accurate so the services and support I receive are effective. But that doesn't mean I don't get seriously annoyed if I'm harrassed too often to manage my profile.

But if I'm a consumer of a retailer or an airline, for example, I have minimal incentive to help them market to me. So long as they have my correct billing and shipping information for my "transaction du jour" I may not care to "own" my version of my information for them.

So while I agree with your premise that the customer is the best "source of truth" for their own data, that doesn't make them data owners for your business. Offer incentives for customers to provide quality data? Absolutely. Expect their incentives to match the incentives of your businses. Of course not.

Thanks for introducing the conversation!

Posted by Robert K | Monday, July 09 2012 at 2:08PM ET
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