What is a Golden Record?

master data management

golden record combines meaningful, reliable data from multiple systems into a single view that’s ideally more accurate, more complete and truer than the data from any single source.

The golden record serves as a complete record (as the best of the best, in simple terms) or as “the single source of truth.” In this case, the “truth” is a reliable reference collecting all relevant customer information across the organization that users can turn to when they want to be certain they have the most up-to-date data on a particular customer or prospect.

This idea of a golden record holds particular appeal for marketers, who rely on accurate, timely, and trustworthy data in driving improved customer experiences. The closer marketers can get to the golden record, the more likely they are to interact with customers through preferred channels with preferred offers.

It helps to think about the golden record as a unified customer profile, which includes identifying information about the customer as well as the channels they use to interact with the organization, their most recent interaction with the organization, and which recent offer they reacted to positively. The golden record also encompasses how a customer transacts with the organization, including his or her most-recent purchase, lifetime value, and number of days since last purchase for instance. All of this information is pulled from different data sources and blended together into the system creating the golden record.

Because the golden record pulls from so many data sources it’s also dynamic—as customer preferences and/or transaction history change, the record changes as well. If a customer interacts with an organization primarily through email, and then switches to interacting mostly through social media, the system underpinning the golden record would notice this change and update its data accordingly. If the customer also decides to purchase something via a mobile app instead of a desktop interface, the golden record will update the relevant information.

As a result of this flexibility, creating and maintaining a golden record can be transformative in customer engagement. This means marketers should, in concert with IT, seek out data management solutions that can streamline data collection, ingestion, and cleansing to put the organization on the path to creating a golden record and, eventually, enabling a 360-degree view of the customer.

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