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MDM Key as HUB Business key

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Our customer (person) data source is MDM which generates a unique person/party identifier for each identified or matched person.  I am new to DV and trying to figure out how to best comply with core principle of DV which is built around business key concept.
Above mentioned party identifier (long numeric key) is not a business key. Business does not reference when searching for customer (person). But, that what we get from the source (MDM).
If you think about what would be the business key for person: Social Security Number in USA, combination of first, last names, date of birth and etc…  But, not all of them are readily , consistently and legally available. A typical problems that MDM supposed to solve. Therefore, my question is do I use a long MDM generated key as my business key in the HUB? It seems that it is a  wrong thing to do.
But, If I use natural keys (names, date of birth , address and so on) as my business key(s) in a HUB then I will have to build and implement  all those complex matching, de-duplication processes in DV myself . We have MDM for that and paid a ton of money for it.
Is anybody out there had a similar dilemma?
As I said I am new to DV and will appreciate any recommendations.
Thank You.
asked Jan 3, 2016 in Modelling by joelm (130 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Hi Joel,

finding a good business key for individuals is always tricky. Just a couple of questions:

Is your MDM key used anywhere?
How does your other source systems (the MDM subscribers) identifying customers (from MDM)?
Do you have customer numbers that are unique in specific source systems?
Are there mapping tables from MDM key to local BKs from source systems?
Is there a generic strategy to identify individuals?

Please let me know. There are multiple strategies to work with this issue.

answered Jan 3, 2016 by molschimke (1,890 points)
Thanks Mike for the answer. These are all good questions that should be asked before and during MDM design and implementation faze. I am afraid the train left the station already. That's why MDM is so hard to get it right. MDM's impact on to downstream applications is one of the overlooked aspect of MDM implementation unfortunately.
Hi Joel,

first of all, sorry for my late reply. Check out figure 4.9 on page 97: if you have nothing better, you can go for a surrogate key and link them to the rest of your model (where you will find better / specific business keys for person).

Hope that helps,

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