Golden Record

A Golden Record is a term in the field of data management that refers to the consolidated, complete, and most reliable version of the master data of an object, such as a person or a company, that has been merged from various sources.

This “Golden Record” serves as the sole source of truth and ensures a consistent and accurate representation of information across different systems.

Each Golden Record is assigned a unique Persistent Identification Number (PID). This PID is then returned to the original source systems to enable seamless and consistent identification of the object across different systems.

The Golden Record is particularly useful in scenarios where individual data points, such as names or addresses, are not unique, and a cross-system, reliable identification of the object is required.

A Practical Example: The Path to the Golden Record for John Smith

Imagine you work at a bank and have multiple records for a customer, John Smith, from different departments, such as the credit department, account management, and customer service. Each department stores different information about John, such as his address, phone number, or account balance. However, the data has slight variations due to typos, address changes, or outdated phone numbers.

To obtain a unified view of John’s information, you consolidate all these records into a Golden Record. You review and consolidate all the information to ensure it is correct and up-to-date. This Golden Record now contains the most accurate and complete information about John Smith.

This Golden Record is assigned a unique Persistent Identification Number (PID). When you or another bank employee searches for John Smith, you use this PID to ensure that you access the exact and consistent record regardless of the department. This simplifies data management, reduces errors, and ensures a consistent customer experience across all departments.

The Example in Tabular Form

PID Source Source ID First Name Last Name E-Mail Address Street City Country
1 Golden Record 1 John Smith Kaiserstraße 57 Frankfurt am Main Germany
1 ERP 1234 John Smith Kaiserstraße 57 Frankfurt am Main Germany
1 CRM abcd John Smith Kaiserstr. 57 Frankfurt am Main GER
1 Service 1a2b John D Kaiser Straße Frankfurt DE

The Golden Record is the Foundation of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and an Enterprise Data Platform (EDP)

The Golden Record is an essential component of the Customer Data Platform, aiming to make all crucial customer information centrally available. The Golden Record merges master data from various sources into a single entity by assigning a PID for unique identification. This allows data from different sources to be linked together. The consolidation of master data is also known as Master Data Management. There is also the type of transactional data, which is more dynamic and arises from interactions with customers. The combination of transactional data and master data leads to a Customer 360.

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