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THE
4C’sOF MASTER DATA
The Foundational Elements of
Commercial Relationships
Customer, vendor, partner and prospect are the
fundamental elements of commercial relationships. To
systematically manage ...
Every record in a database has a code – somewhere. Once a code is put
on a record – it “exists” in that database. I am cod...
You need to know what an entity belongs to through a hierarchical structure
– a parent/child family tree. Hierarchy has mu...
You need to know what kind of thing you are dealing with, especially if you
don’t have much of a relationship with it yet....
Following along our alliteration with Cs, you also need country and some
form of geography. Where is this thing? Geography...
A code enables you to know a thing is unique. A company
lets you know who owns it. A category lets you know what
kind of t...
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The 4C’s of Master Data - The Fundamental Elements of Commercial Relationships

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Customer, vendor, partner and prospect are the fundamental elements of commercial relationships. To manage those entities, they need a common structure. Here are four ways to master your data.

Published in: Data & Analytics

The 4C’s of Master Data - The Fundamental Elements of Commercial Relationships

  1. 1. THE 4C’sOF MASTER DATA The Foundational Elements of Commercial Relationships
  2. 2. Customer, vendor, partner and prospect are the fundamental elements of commercial relationships. To systematically manage those foundational entities they need a common structure. A simple approach to applying a standard structure begins with what we refer to as the Four Cs: Code, Company, Category and Country. Scott Taylor Market Development & Strategy Leader, Master Data Dun & Bradstreet
  3. 3. Every record in a database has a code – somewhere. Once a code is put on a record – it “exists” in that database. I am coded therefore I am. You need a code to make sure it is unique. But since every system has its own set of codes you probably have more than one across your multiple workflows, departments and regions. And if you can tie them together, that is your shortest path to a single version of that relationship. CODE
  4. 4. You need to know what an entity belongs to through a hierarchical structure – a parent/child family tree. Hierarchy has multiple levels, from the local branch, divisions, subsidiaries, all the way up to a global ultimate parent. Bill- to, ship-to, plan-to, sell-to are all part of hierarchy. The bigger the company, the more complicated the hierarchy. Are you selling to all the relevant divisions or branches of given a family tree? Do you have a relationship with it already? Is it related to something that increases your risk? Are there terms you could apply because of the ownership that you wouldn’t have known about? You can’t tell unless you have a full hierarchy. COMPANY
  5. 5. You need to know what kind of thing you are dealing with, especially if you don’t have much of a relationship with it yet. There’s a lot of granularity and nuances to categories. Types and sub-types, channels and sub-channels, genres and sub-genres. Categories define markets, enable segmentation, and are the denominator for penetration analysis. Targeting is often based on category attributes when you try to find likely prospects based on industry, segment, sub-segment, etc. CATEGORY
  6. 6. Following along our alliteration with Cs, you also need country and some form of geography. Where is this thing? Geography has hierarchy too – state, county, metro area, province, city, postal code. Media market, sales market, measurement market – there are many different configurations of geography depending on your use case. But agreeing on a common definition of market will clear up lots of confusion between sales, brand, finance and operations when you simply ask– How am I doing in New York or Major Metros or EMEA? COUNTRY
  7. 7. A code enables you to know a thing is unique. A company lets you know who owns it. A category lets you know what kind of thing it is. A country lets you know where it is. So if you can consistently know where something is, what kind of thing it is, who owns it and that it is truly unique and leverage those definitions with your business stakeholders, you can manage and scale your relationships across your enterprise. Visit dnb.com/masterdata to learn more about structuring a holistic view of your commercial relationships.

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