Exploiting evidence from unstructured data to enhance master data management

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Master data management (MDM) integrates data from multiple structured data sources and builds a consolidated 360-degree view of business entities such as customers and products. Today's MDM systems are not prepared to integrate information from unstructured data sources, such as news reports, emails, call-center transcripts, and chat logs. However, those unstructured data sources may contain valuable information about the same entities known to MDM from the structured data sources. Integrating information from unstructured data into MDM is challenging as textual references to existing MDM entities are often incomplete and imprecise and the additional entity information extracted from text should not impact the trustworthiness of MDM data. In this paper, we present an architecture for making MDM text-aware and showcase its implementation as IBM Info-Sphere MDM Extension for Unstructured Text Correlation, an add-on to IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Standard Edition. We highlight how MDM benefits from additional evidence found in documents when doing entity resolution and relationship discovery. We experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of integrating information from unstructured data sources into MDM. © 2012 VLDB Endowment.