Has your name ever hurt you? – when nomen becomes omen

Addressing clients with the right data often means the difference between making a profit and not making a profit. Working with data quality experts has made me ever more consious of the value personal data represents for people. In this respect names are especially intriguing to me, as owners appear to identify with their name a lot. So I decided to do a little research and determine if people really are what their name tells you. Can nomen indeed become omen?

Your parents probably gave a lot of thought to the name they once gave you, and as it turns out they were right to do so! Research tells us a name can do wonders for its owner, as well as a lot of damage for that matter. Let’s have a look at some remarkable results.

Peter for President!
Recent studies show that in the US a student called Fred is more likely to fail his exam than a student who just happened to be named Andrew: people tend to indentify with their name and, in general, have a positive feeling about letters that correspond with their initials. Consequently Fred is far more likely to settle for a meager F, while Andrew will have an extra motive to strive for an A. Continue reading ‘Has your name ever hurt you? – when nomen becomes omen’

How-to create the Golden Record


The term Golden Record is closely related to Customer Data Integration or MDM for Customer data. It refers to the “single truth” which has been created or calculated from all those duplicate customer records from different systems. This post is not about finding or tagging all those duplicate records. There all kinds of ways to find them using advanced statistical methods, fuzzy matching etc.

But what do you once you have found the duplicates. How do you create the best possible customer data out of all gathered elements? Continue reading ‘How-to create the Golden Record’

WolframAlpha providing statistics about given names

wolframalpha_ramon1A week ago, the new search engine WolframAlpha has been launched. At first it was being compared to the search engine we all know, namely Google. It took bloggers, news editors and the rest of the world some time to understand that this is no search engine at all. WolframAlpha wants to become the Computational Knowledge Engine we all will be using. It is more like the Encarta application we older guys used in times when viewing a movie in poststamp-format used to be fun.

In fact, WolframAlpha has done a wonderful job. Enter any question you like and it will present nice formatted answers, illustrated with diagrams and links to sources for further research. It is interesting to see how several sources are combined and presented very clearly. Continue reading ‘WolframAlpha providing statistics about given names’

Meet Zealand-New


In a recent post in data quality PRO the validation of foreign given names was discussed. After reading the excellent comment of my colleague Michael Grigat, I stumbled across an article in the “Bay of Plenty Times”, a local New Zealand newspaper.

The article described the rather patriotic name choice of a couple with regard to the newest addition to their family. They named their daughter “Zealand-New”.

Zealand-New’s mother Tomicina Davoren, and father Mana Te Moni, said they preferred a name that was different to any that featured in the country’s top baby names for 2008. “I’ve never heard anybody being called that name. You hear New Zealand every day but not as someone’s name.” She said the top names for 2008 may be popular but were “not the greatest”. “They are too plain,” she said.
Zealand-New is Ms Davoren’s and Mr Te Moni’s fourth child. Their other children are named Rlexuz Toara Chantz Te Moni, Mikaere Morgan Te Moni, and Korizma-Lake Vonnita Manaaki Te Moni.

This is what you might call a very substantial illustration of what Michael Grigat said in his post: “We have more than 20 years of experience with international given names and we know that validation of given names is quite a tricky thing.” Indeed we do ……