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9 April 2020

Putting you in control

Penny Nash

2020 is set to be a fast paced year in enterprise data management. Data management strategy is becoming ‘the’ area where companies can differentiate. Competition to create the perfect data platform is heating up. New technologies are emerging in AI, unlocking the power of unstructured data and aiding graphical representation of information, while new insights are coming to light with alternative data. These developments are helping businesses find that edge, using data to drive growth.

Unique challenges

Entity data is critical to data management. The appetite for entity data goes far beyond compliance and KYC. It’s the cornerstone of most master and enterprise data management projects.

No one size fits all when it comes to entity data management. Unique challenges demand unique solutions. But there are common challenges we still see data managers grappling with in entity data management.

Most data management projects start with entity resolution and matching, whether those entities are companies, individuals or other ‘things’. Entity resolution depends on data quality: names and reference data. This drives the initial matching and further data management processes.

Without identifiers there is a huge disparity in consistency. Multiple sources, such as data vendors, exchanges, regulators, rating agencies and LOUs, all with varying standards, formats and structures, are often required to create the ‘golden record’. Technology, especially AI, is becoming increasingly important in this space, allowing both structured and unstructured data to inform the resolution.

Data quality

Data quality remains the hardest nut to crack, especially with a multi-source approach. There is the choice of data sets to link and the constant quest for the perfect balance between timeliness and accuracy. De-duplication and mastering is the goal data managers are striving for, yet there is no one silver bullet. The golden copy is always your version of the truth based on the number of sources, levels of quality and amount of governance you choose.

The many new alternative and unstructured data sets available still have to be linked to key entity data to make sense. Which brings us back to the age-old challenge of correctly linking and cross-referencing. This requires a plethora of reference data and a unique-ID strategy that is robust, yet flexible enough that it won’t lead you to depend entirely on one provider.

Putting users centre stage

Data and technology providers continue to provide an array of solutions from which firms can pick and choose. That flexibility and choice is becoming ever more important.

At a minimum, data buyers and managers expect a high standard of quality data for entity resolution, mapping, linking and integration. Strong reference data is critical in such data management projects to give the maximum choice of identifiers and strong unique-IDs, the glue in the project. Organisations such as GLEIF (the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation) are helping everyone take a positive direction with standardisation of reference data.

Against this backdrop, data managers are going to expect more. The differentiators are likely to be flexibility and automation, leading to a leaner, self-serve customer experience.

Imagine you could explore, visualise, analyse, connect, derive and distribute any or all of your data in one environment. This year, the technology is here to make that possible. AI technologies are strengthening entity-resolution and news-gathering processes. And, along with good data governance, strong relationships between clients and solution providers will significantly help data managers to realise their goals, from simplification to cost cutting, revenue generation through data, MDM and compliance efficiency.

The perfect platform

Putting the end user in full control is the key to improving the data management experience. In the end, data managers must decide on their single view, or ‘truth’. The addition of non-traditional data sets means users need flexible and easy ways to weave data together as they pick and choose from what’s on offer.


2020 is certain to see this shift towards better delivery and a more seamless data management user experience. Businesses are looking for a flexible, scalable and fully integrated data solution for optimised data management and distribution across all data channels. What will set the best data market players apart is a one-stop shop, enterprise-grade data-management platform rather than multiple data solutions requiring integration.


At Bureau van Dijk, we’ve captured, treated and standardised data for more than 30 years, working with unique IDs and strong reference data to link data from more than 165 providers and a huge number of our own sources today. We face the same challenges as all data managers. This year we will continue to work with cloud and AI technologies to provide more advanced data management solutions to make it even easier for our customers to get the best of the breadth and depth of entity data we offer, helping them to make better, faster decisions.

Find out more in A-Team Insight’s Entity Data Management Handbook 2020

Penny Nash

Penny Nash, Director of Product Strategy

Penny Nash is Bureau van Dijk director of product strategy. She has 20 years’ experience in data management. Contact her at [email protected]

Penny Nash is Bureau van Dijk director of product strategy. She has 20 years’ experience in data management. Contact her at [email protected]

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How Bureau van Dijk can help you

Certainty is a highly-prized commodity in business. Data might be getting bigger all the time, but this only makes extracting value from it more difficult.

In capturing and treating private company information we aim to give you more certainty – and help you make better decisions and work more efficiently.



Our solutions are designed to help different business challenges and streamline your workflow. Many of our customers blend our information with their own internal data to get a more complete picture of the companies in their ecosystem.

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