What Is a Golden Record?

Singular, Accurate, and Continuously Updated View of Each Customer

What Is a Golden Record?

A golden record is a unified customer profile that combines information regarding behaviors, interests, preferences, purchases, needs, and wants from multiple customer engagement systems and data sources (anonymous to known, structured to unstructured, online and offline) into a single, 360-degree view. It’s the accurate, complete, and timely data on a customer that persists over time, and it’s continuously updated with detailed data from batch and real-time streaming sources.

Why Is a Golden Record the Key to Optimizing Customer Engagement?

Customers are more likely to stop doing business with a brand that fails to provide a consistent and valuable experience across touchpoints. The golden record provides the deep level of customer understanding required to hyper-personalize messages, offers, and actions in the right context and cadence to optimize interactions with customers while closing the gap between customer expectation and what they actually experience. Marketers are closer than ever to creating a golden record with the emergence of customer data platforms, which are at the center of any organization’s digital transformation and customer engagement strategies.

How Do I Build a Golden Record?

Companies build a complete customer view by linking records with data that belongs to the same customer. This isn’t easy because different systems use different identifiers: a phone number here, an account number there, an email address, a mailing address, a browser cookie, a device identifier, a social media handle. The data also lives across siloed databases and customer engagement systems, all operating at different cadences. Correctly linking those identifiers over time is a complicated process at the foundation of creating a consistent, personalized customer experience.

Why Is a Customer Data Platform Needed to Create a Golden Record?

To enable a set of automated processes for ingesting, cleansing, quality, and advanced matching capabilities (for identity resolution) that can persist and be updated on a continuous basis, a golden record needs to be created and stored in a customer data platform. The data quality of a golden record is a big concern because inaccuracies, incomplete records, redundancies, and latency in the data being on-boarded will generate errors that persist and can lead to a loss of customers and revenue for an organization.

A customer data platform is a game changer for organizations that are struggling to understand a customer in context and cadence to their journey. It provides an environment that can ensure the most up to date, precise, and complete view of a customer is available to the organization to make better decisions on how, when, and why to interact with a customer.