Friday, 20 July 2012

Is your SCV really a SCV?

My business is full of jargon. You can't avoid it. And along with the jargon comes a whole rack of TLA's.  In this case, TLA stands for "Three Letter Acronym". Things like Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and Extract Transformation and Load (ETL) to name a couple.

But the one TLA that causes more furrowed brows than anything I have seen is SCV.... the Single Customer View.

As businesses grow, they acquire other companies. They build separate databases to service different customers. As time goes by, you can end up with one customer who can have their personal details on a bewildering array of platforms and marts. There is significant risk of your marketing data and your customer insight being fragmented. 

The best solution is to build a separate data mart with all of your customer insight data merged. There are a number of master data management tools that can help you do this. They are purpose-built for the job, and can cut down a lot of the legwork. With the proliferation of these solutions being increasingly widespread, consider that you may not be the only one in your organisation who is building a single customer view.

This brings me to the crux of my point. A single customer view should be just that - single. Having 5 or 6 different single customer views throughout your organisation is bound to create reconciliation problems further downstream.

So when someone asks you to build a SCV, your first priority is to make sure that it hasn't been done somewhere else before you start. And the second priority is that it should be the last single customer view you create.


  1. SVC 101 indeed Richard. One thing I have learned in the life in the Master Data Management space is that SVC is good vision but most time not practically possible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to get there, only you should expect to comprise a bit here and there.

    1. True, the benefits delivered can be hard won, hence my stress reference. In my judgement, it is almost always preferable to remediate at source first. But regulatory reporting is one area where a SCV/SVC can become a mandatory requirement. At that point, it may be unavoidable.