Old McDonald had a Big Mac

I was pondering the other day. One of those pointless trains of thought that occasionally pops into ones head. Uninvited. Unbidden. Don’t know where it came from…

Why is it that you can go to a McDonalds and order a Big Mac? Why don’t you go to MacDonalds and order a Big Mc. Why not be consistent? If it’s a Big Mac shouldn’t you get one from MacDonalds? If you’re called McDonalds you should sell Big Mc’s…

I suppose this sort of thinking comes from years of working in the data business and dealing with all the inconsistencies that ensue. One gets to value consistency. Lack of consistency and variation¬†in data presentation is the bane of the data processors life. When does a variation become a difference? That’s a question that anyone who has worked on Customer Data Integration, Deduplication or Single Customer View projects will have spent many hours wrestling with. And the chances are that once they have settled on a definition some data will come along to confound them. That is the nature of the beast.

Actually the Mc vs Mac situation is one of the easiest to deal with. Mc is just an abbreviated form of Mac. They mean the same thing. So if you come across a McDonald, change it to MacDonald (for processing only of course). Why not change MacDonald to McDonald? Well because you may end up changing Machin to McHin or Macey to McEy…

But if you are a McDonald or a MacDonald are you consistent in how you present your data? What does it say on your birth certificate? Is it the same on your passport? Driving license? Bank account? 

But suppose you have, living at the same address a John McDonald and a John MacDonald. Are they the same person?

Views from those of Scottish origin welcomed.

Hoots mon!



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