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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

I received an email the other day from someone working for a large international financial institution. I thought his comments were worth publishing with the hopes that you have some ideas on how a global company can truly get to visionary "single version of the truth" when it comes to global customers. Read on for some enlightening and thought-provoking global issues. And please -- if you have any thoughts on the topics, enter them in the comment area.

As always - yours in BI success!

Claudia

Dear Mrs. Imhoff,

I have been reading about your Corporate Information Factory (CIF) in many different white papers and articles on the internet. They are all very interesting and well written with lots of valuable information and ideas. First, thank you for this treasure. Second, why don't you also write something about the challenge a global company is up against trying to give the organization the "single view" of their clients? This is always left out, not only in your analysis, but in everyone's research. It seems to me that this is something like a forgotten topic.

Let me try to explain what I mean in more detail: a global company, like [our financial institution], is storing customer information in disparate systems all over the globe. This is a result of numerous mergers and acquisitions and the "silo'd thinking" in many of our business divisions and group.

We have a corporate system which is collecting (or harvesting) the data, matching them to one another to create a global client view (much like the D-U-N-S number) and adding connections between these global clients to supply the bank with the "household view". We have been doing this for credit risk purposes for more than 10 years. The global identifier is assigned once and not changed unless corporate actions is of such a type that we need to. This gives us a very good grasp of our history as well. But unfortunately this is done only for credit risk purposes.

This is all fine for credit risk but already we see a problem: we are not allowed to harvest all client data from all databases in all countries in order to support other business areas like marketing. This means that what we call the Global Client is not really guaranteed to be truly global since we are in danger of missing out on one or more representations of a client in a database from which we receive no data. What do we do then? Basically there is nothing we can do since the legislation in these countries does not allow us to receive, store and work with client data from these countries.

I always argue that companies might be globalized but that the world is not. Meaning that the world must go global first in order for "global organizations" to become truly global.

Would you have any views to share on this "global issue"?


Posted June 20, 2005 12:03 PM
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