Thursday, May 27, 2010

How a data deduplication report resulted in data reduplication

I've encountered this a few times already, and I just encountered it again.

When Motorola sold my division, I ended up being associated with a new company, and I also ended up with a change in job responsibilities. However, I still had a number of old accounts that were tied to previous information, such as my old e-mail address and my old job title.

I was reading my print copy of InformationWeek, and noticed an article on data deduplication. The article contained a blurb saying that you could download a free report, and since the subject was of interest to me, I decided that I would do so.

Then I remembered that to download the report, I would need to provide my TechWeb login...which was tied to my old Motorola e-mail address.

This reminded me that I had received an e-mail from InformationWeek, asking me to renew my subscription. I hadn't done anything with it at the time, because I suspected that the information was out of date and would have to be updated.

Time to fix all of this, I thought, so I logged into TechWeb to change my email address.

I couldn't.

So I started to create a new TechWeb account with my new email address. Because of cookies or whatever, the registration screen was populated with information from my old account (for the most part; for some reason I had to re-enter my country and state). Everything was going well, until...

...I was told that the onscreen nickname that I had chosen was in use by another account.

So then I logged into the old account, changed the old account's onscreen nickname to some gibberish (something along the lines of "iamtryingtocreateanewaccount" - I wonder how my old TechWeb posts, if any, will show up?). I then logged into the new account, re-entered the city and state, re-entered the old onscreen nickname, and things worked wonderfully.

Of course, I then decided that this would be as good a time as any to renew my InformationWeek subscription. As it turned out, the InformationWeek data didn't coincide with my new TechWeb data, or my old TechWeb data, but was associated with a different set of data, tied to a third email account (the intermediate email account that I used during the transition).

So now, with all three account records corrected to show the same information (except for the fake onscreen nickname for the Motorola account), I proceeded to download my free report on data DEDUPLICATION.

Hmm...I can offer a suggestion to reduce data duplication issues...
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