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Master Data Management in Practice: Achieving True Customer MDM by Mark Allen, Dalton Cervo

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Hierarchy Management (HM)

There are many reasons why it is advantageous to arrange customer data into some type of classified grouping. Sales teams may be interested in grouping customers by region for proper field rep assignments. Services may be interested in grouping customers by level to give proper discounts. Marketing may be interested in grouping customers by industry to define effective campaigns.

Sometimes these needs can be met by creating reports on existing attributes associated with customers. But quite often, it is necessary to create a more permanent structure with attributes and relationships that are not readily available, or it could take too long to determine on the fly. Customer hierarchy falls into this last category.

A customer hierarchy adds a vertical dimension to the horizontal 360° view, as depicted in Figure 10.3. It is possible to uncover relationships not readily available on the hub, especially when doing business with large companies with many subsidiaries and/or departments. The hub will normally carry the atomic set of information about a given customer, located at a particular address, with a certain account type, and through a specific contact, has engaged in a selling relationship. But a lot of these atomic records can be associated with distinct departments and/or subsidiaries; have separate bill-to, ship-to, and installed-at addresses; and/or were carried on by a specific sales channel. A customer hierarchy enables the proper connections and ...

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