Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to questions our technophobic moms ask us frequently.
What is Golden Record?
Golden Record is a tool that tells you when records that represent the same thing occur multiple times in your data, whether they are in one, or multiple, data sets. It works even if there is no obvious way to link those records together. For example, Golden Record can tell you if a prospect in your CRM system actually has two records in that system AND is also listed in a spreadsheet as someone who attended your recent golf outing. It’s cloud-based and uses a variety of advanced matching techniques to find the relationships between an unlimited number of databases and files.
Golden Record can work with far more than just data about people. In fact, it can match any kind of data you might need: people, products, locations, facilities… The list is literally endless.
And, using Golden Record’s master data management features, your linkages can be tracked and managed over time.
What is an ‘application’ in Golden Record?
A Golden Record application is everything needed to address one matching problem:
- The data sets or tables
- The Golden Set, or integrated view of all the data
- The matching rules you define to match all of the data
Example applications might be creating a common view of each customer, identifying the products that appear in multiple catalogs, or figuring out if any voters appear on multiple voter roles.
What is a ‘table’?
Each of your source data files, databases, spreadsheets becomes a table when you load it into Golden Record. For example, if you’re using Golden Record to match data from your CRM system, your sales system, a purchased list of customer demographics, and a spreadsheet of prospects invited to a golf outing, each of those data sources represents one table.
You can add and update data in any of your tables over time without creating a new table. In fact, it’s typical for companies to capture changes in their CRM system and then use Golden Record’s API to automatically update the records and matches it’s tracking in real time.
Can I update and add to the data in my tables? What happens if I do?
Does your data ever change? Of course it does! People move and change their email addresses. Product managers change product descriptions. New donors are constantly being added to donor management systems.
As opposed to some other matching tools, Golden Record is not a one-and-done solution. If you’d like, it holds your data and lets you access it and even update it over time. So, when new records come in, Golden Record can tell you if they happen to duplicate records that you already have while it also matches the new ones to data from your other systems. And, if records change, Golden Record recognizes and manages the implications.
Because it captures all of this history, Golden Record can serve as a time machine, showing you what each record looked like at any time in the past.
How can I use Golden Record for free?
Want to save yourself some time and money? Of course you do! We can help. For a limited time, match your data for free!
Right now, the Golden Record beta is open to everyone. All we ask is that you give us feedback to help us get better. If you’re interested in trying out Golden Record, please fill out our beta test program interest form.
How can data warehouse architects and developers use Golden Record?
You build data warehouses to integrate data from dozens places for business users to analyze. But, did you know that the data warehouse concept is built on a dirty little secret? It works well when it’s easy to integrate that data. And, it’s easy to integrate that data when it’s already been tied together for you—for example, when all customers in all your data sources use a common set of customer numbers, or when all products are built off of a common product master list, etc.
Which brings us to that little secret: often your data hasn’t already been tied together. Customers in your sales system have customer numbers, but those numbers aren’t in your CRM system. The SKUs in your inventory tables are completely different from the product IDs that your suppliers use. This leaves you, as a data warehousing professional, to guess at ways to match this stuff up and to keep it matched as new data arrives.
This is where Golden Record can save you months of time and effort. Golden Record was designed to figure out when the same entities are represented in different places, and then to build links between those places. All you have to do is keep the system fed with up-to-date data sources. It’ll keep track of the links between those cross-system entities and provide you with an API that you can query to find a link when you need. Or, you can download the entire list of links in bulk so you can construct your own local link table. Easy peasy!
How marketing analysts use Golden Record?
Your job as marketing analyst is to understand and reach out to your customers and prospects. And, if you’re like most folks in your field, this means that you end up putting a lot of time into gathering and trying to tie together data about your customers and prospects. That data might come from your CRM system, your sales system, an email marketing solution like MailChimp, your web site, or from outside data vendors, or even from almost-forgotten spreadsheets sitting somewhere on the dreaded O: drive.
But, how do you know that the John Smith in your CRM system is the same as the J Smith in your email marketing system but different from the two John Smiths that you’re also emailing? This is where Golden Record comes in. Tell Golden Record about the data you have. It’ll analyze it all and create a single record for each prospect, whether they be a person or an organization, and tie together their data from all of your sources. You can do it all with our easy-to-use web app—no programming required!
Not only will you get a powerful tool for analyzing your audience, Golden Record will also save you money and even help improve your brand reputation. How? By eliminating those duplicate emails and physical mailings that waste precious marketing dollars and also make your organization look, well, disorganized. Now you’re looking good!