Customer Golden Records: How to build them from disparate data sources with Arena

Avatar photo Sewalita Duara December 4th, 2020

Customer Golden Records: How to build them from disparate data sources with Arena

Companies are focused on collecting customer data to effectively create marketing campaigns and sales initiatives that cater to consumer interests and expectations. With the customer data coming in from varied sources, a whole new set of challenges arise when deriving relevant information from it. How reliable and accurate is the information collected? Are there multiple entries for one customer? How to dissolve ambiguity? Is the customer information up-to-date? At Zaloni, these are the common questions that our clients are asking us. Today’s blog provides an overview of how to achieve a customer 360 view through data mastering and golden records. 


What is a Customer Golden Record? 

Golden records are a single source of truth, one unified, trusted version of data that captures all the necessary and accurate information we need to know about a customer, member, resource, entity, item, or asset of value to a business or an enterprise.

golden record

Building customer golden records was the goal of one of the largest banking conglomerates on the east coast. The bank used Zaloni’s Arena platform to generate golden records using data mastering and survivorship capabilities. Data mastering is the process in which a record from a source is merged and linked to another record or set of records through the application of defined rules and algorithms. Survivorship is the process of picking the master record, in other words selecting each data attribute from the set based on rules to form the master record that is the best suited for the use case. The rules may be established on lineage, recency, completeness, validity or other data metrics or dimensions. 


Challenge: Inconsistent and Incomplete Customer data disparate sources

Connecting data to disparate systems is the first challenge to overcome in the data mastering process. Many companies store data in various systems or environments, whether that be CRM-based or another data environment like on-prem, cloud, or hybrid. It’s also very common that companies leverage 3rd party data sources as well. There is a generous amount of time and potential costs associated in storing and processing this disparate data. It’s a no brainer that the more data a company has accumulated, the more complex this process becomes. 


With mass volumes of customer information in a single environment, customer information is “clustered” in a single or multiple datasets. One customer may have their phone number in one data set, their address in another, and their name spelled differently in each source similar to the diagram below. In some cases, you may have multiple users tied to one account or multiple addresses, some of which are outdated. This creates challenges for a data engineer to sift through thousands of data points and integrate all the ones related to one customer.  

Solution: Arena’s Agile Data Mastering 

Traditionally, data matching is primarily focused on contact and product domains with limited flexibility and scalability. Zaloni identified that these commonalities of traditional data matching resulted in restrictions when building golden records, resulting in Arena’s Data Mastering capability. With a modernized approach, Arena matches, links, and masters all types of data to create a master record, even in the absence of unique identifiers from various operational systems using a machine-learning data mastering engine. 


With Arena’s data mastering, each data set, whether unstructured, structured, or semi-structured, is collected, processed, and ingested into a single data environment. Data quality may be performed and good data is then sent through the master creation process where data is matched and merged to create the master record. 

Data mastering data flow

Data mastering data flow

The Benefits of Customer Golden Records 


Golden records of a company’s customer data allow for:


  • Ability to identify individuals or organizations of customers from various segments of the company.
  • Integration of customer records that initially did not have complete or identifiable information from collected datasets.
  • Enriched customer records as a result of data being singularly sourced and fulfilling data quality requirements.  
  • Discoverability of potential areas of poor data quality to prevent issues.
  • 360-degree view of the customer gives better understanding and insights of the customer lifecycle and journey and improves customer experience enabling personalized interactions to serve them better.


With golden records in place, the benefits of having that “one source of truth” paves the way for marketing and sales effectiveness and customer satisfaction that drives business value. Zaloni is proud to deliver an end-to-end DataOps platform that companies can trust and utilize to serve use cases such as customer golden records and more. 


If you would like to learn more about Arena’s Data Mastering capabilities: 

customer golden record

about the author

Sewalita Duara has been working at Zaloni for over 10 years and currently serves as a Principal Solutions Software Engineer on the Professional Services team. With her computer science background, Sewalita consults closely with Zaloni's customers to offer platform customization and data use case guidance to ensure each client's data operations success.