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Taking a flexible approach to customer master data management

by Andy Reid | March 28, 2014 | No Comments

3282014 Blog ImageIn his recent blog “Did you notice? The ground rules have changed for managing customer information,” Manmohan Gupta talked about customer expectations. He discussed how customers expect to be served in a timely manner and receive relevant messaging via a channel they prefer. This is a relatively simple task for a local business that enjoys frequent face-to-face relationships with regular customers. However, the challenge is far greater for multi-national organizations operating over greater distances to serve millions of consumers.

The only way they can achieve this is to move to an approach of managing customer information that is far more flexible than the typical approach of holding records in one or many relational databases. A knowledge graph captures complex networks and hierarchies of customer information in a way that is easy to navigate, extend and modify. It also helps to expose non-obvious relationships that are not otherwise apparent. Knowledge graphs are going to form the basis of next-generation master data management as companies seek to inform each of their operational systems the most relevant and trusted view of customer profiles.

Why then, does it appear that the term “knowledge graph” is not well understood in the board room? At a recent industry event, the Gartner Enterprise Information and Master Data Management Summit, several presentations referred to knowledge graphs and the idea of linked data.  (By the way, if you are going to the incarnation of this Gartner Summit in the US, please come visit us.)

It is likely that the underlying technology is not really the question on the table. The board room wants the right information to be available at the right time to the right people in order to make the best decisions.

Chief information officers (CIOs) are looking to deliver outstanding infrastructure for information flow within the organisation. That may or may not include knowledge graph based capabilities. However, the emergence of the chief data officer is putting greater focus on delivering the trusted data the business needs. From a customer master data perspective, this is best achieved by modelling customer data using knowledge graphs.

To learn more about the benefits of knowledge graphs, watch our on-demand webinar with Information Management.


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