What if the Primary Key isn't?

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What if the Primary Key isn''t?

Post  jpayton on Tue May 19, 2009 1:40 pm

Hi All,

Working with a marketing organization, and I'm trying to figure out some logic to deal with a situation where the perceived primary key may not be permanent. Let me explain.

An individual may be contacted for one or more campaigns. Currently, our belief is that the most effective primary key is email address, as this will be captured across multiple (all) campaigns. But when a contact moves from one company to another, this will likely change. So now what? Any other suggestions for a viable primary key approach for this situation? sorry - I could be just experience a 'brain-fart', but I'm coming up blank.

Thx

jpayton

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Re: What if the Primary Key isn't?

Post  BoxesAndLines on Tue May 19, 2009 1:53 pm

What are the other attributes of Contact?
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Re: What if the Primary Key isn''t?

Post  jpayton on Tue May 19, 2009 2:02 pm

The other contact attributes are pretty basic - things like First name, Last Name... nothing like a Social Security number. The dimensional data is coming from salesforce.com, but we can't use their unique ID as the contact may exist uniquely within two separate compaigns, with the goal to consolidate across the campaigns. The problem is that when a contact moves from one company to another, we'd like to continue tracking them, and maintaining the associated history.

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Re: What if the Primary Key isn't?

Post  BoxesAndLines on Tue May 19, 2009 10:14 pm

Based on what you've told me you are already doing the best that you can. Unfortunately, you cannot reliably track contacts across companies based on email address and name. This is really a common problem when people and organizations repurpose data for other purposes. If you had address you would be a lot better off considering you have some data quality tools in house to cleanse the name and addresses. That can possibly get you to 98%, maybe 99% accuracy. That's what we average on our name and address cleansing routines. That sounds like a good percentage until you consider we're running 10,000,000 customers through.
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Re: What if the Primary Key isn''t?

Post  jpayton on Tue May 19, 2009 10:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, sometimes it's just good to get an affirmation that I'm on the right track. Hopefully I can reciprocate some day!

Jim

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