GDPR / Duplicate accounts, a real use case

Guest blog post with Agile Solutions (see the original on their blog)


GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, is less than a year away. Since this wide-reaching legislation will have massive effects on the business landscape, there is a lot being said about GDPR at the moment, justifiably so. IT vendors are repositioning their messages to align their solutions to claims they can help organisations tackle the problems imposed by GDPR. 

But how can you know what will really help tackle GDPR and what is just trying to draft behind the hype of GDPR? Let’s take a look at a real issue that must be addressed with GDPR, and what specific technology will accomplish what you need.As a reminder, GDPR governs the personal data of EU residents. It covers rights, such as the ability of EU residents to ask organisations to delete all of their personal information, ask how their data is used, and approve consent for personal data collection. Semarchy asserts that mastering your data with MDM will best position your company to get ahead of the issues surrounding GDPR. Having a data management solution that can offer up a single point that will allow businesses to control, edit, delete and manage data seems like a logical step in the right direction. A specific issue that MDM addresses are the problem of duplicate accounts referencing the same individual.

Duplicate accounts and unmastered customer data poses a huge compliance threat under GDPR. For example, this morning my colleague sent the team a picture showing 6 letters he received from the same company that arrived over the last few days (a global firm). Each letter is aligned to one advertising activity. A few months ago a different colleague mentioned his wife got duplicate letters x3 each quarter, due to duplicate accounts (from a charity). It was obvious that the company in question does not have a mastered account of their customers.

Next year, if I were to request that a company delete all of my customer data that they possess, what would they do? They may delete one or a few of my accounts, but how would they ensure the deletion of all of my personal data? Their lack of de-duplication leaves them exposed to massive fines. De-duplicating accounts are one of the key steps in being GDPR compliant.

With the right technology in place*, you can create a “master” customer record for for 0.45p per individual (more on this later). Based on the assumption that it costs £1.50 to send a letter (postage, paper, print, printer cost, envelope and man time etc). That investment breaks even at stopping one duplicate letter per 333 people per year. The breakeven figure is much higher when considering glossy mail shots and it does not take into account wrong addresses. For example, Saga holidays, I am not ready for your kind of vacation just yet so please stop sending me information in the post.

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In short, if you like the idea of looking into MDM and you are trying to build a business case, this mailing use case could pay for the solution. That does not take into account the many other positive outcomes when mastering your data, such as segmentation of your customer database for more targeted offerings. Whether or not you are currently looking into MDM, you must be concerned with GDPR compliance.

De-duplication of your customer data needs to be addressed in order to comply with GDPR, and Master Data Management is the best tool to tackle this issue. However, the value does not stop at compliance. Clean, mastered, de-duplicated data (not only customers - but products, locations, etc.) will open up many other opportunities for business value. Knowing your customers, how they interact with your business and what they have purchased will not only help you easily delete their data if requested, it will help you implement campaigns to improve customer experience, optimise marketing efforts, and uncover cross-sell and upsell opportunities. MDM technology is the key to turning GDPR compliance from an obligation into an opportunity.

*Want to prove the benefit of an MDM implementation? Semarchy offers a Proof of Value (PoV). In this PoV, we profile your data, builds a data model from across multiple source systems and then masters said sources. We give you our results as well as access to our software. Semarchy can help you discover the multiple benefits of master data (across any data domain) and give a solid understanding of issues such as duplicate accounts.De-duplication of accounts is just the tip of the iceberg for both the issues that need to be addressed for GDPR and the potential benefits of MDM. If you were ever looking for an excuse for MDM, GDPR may be it. Take this potential problem, and turn it into an opportunity for your business to grow on a foundation of clean customer data.Get StartedMore on Agile Solutions

Agile Solutions is a valued UK partner, with whom we have implemented xDM to help clients empower business users to become data champions through Data Governance and MDM.