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Matching your data to create master data entities (IBM Match 360 with Watson)
Matching your data to create master data entities (IBM Match 360 with Watson)

Matching your data to create master data entities (IBM Match 360 with Watson)

Run matching on your data to let IBM Match 360 determine whether your records can be collected into master data entities. Each master data entity contains one or more records that were found to be matches.

There are two common reasons to run matching on your data:

  • For record deduplication and entity resolution, the matching process analyzes your data to determine whether any duplicate records exist in your data. Suspected duplicate records are merged into master data entities to establish a single, trusted, 360-degree view of your data.
  • To create other types of entity associations, the matching process analyzes your data to collect records into entities that represent different kinds of groupings, such as a household or family.

For more information about matching algorithms and how they work to match data and create entities, see IBM Match 360 matching algorithms.

Preparing to run matching

Before you run the matching algorithm, ensure that you publish your data model and assets into the IBM Match 360 with Watson service. For more information, see Adding data and mapping it to your data model.

Each entity type defined in your data model has its own separate matching algorithm to create entities of that type. For example, a Person record type can have more than one entity type, such as Person and Household.

  • A Person entity type could be used for deduplication and entity resolution of your person record data.
  • A Household entity type could be used to create associations of person records that all belong to the same household.

Setting up your matching algorithm

To set up your matching algorithm:

  1. Click the navigation menu and select Matching setup to open the matching setup page.
  2. From the entity type menu, select the type of entity whose matching algorithm you want to configure. The list of entity types is taken from your data model and follows the format Record type - Entity type.

    It is possible for this list to include entity types that have not yet been published into the system. In this case, matching will not be able to start. Always ensure that you publish your data model after making any changes, such as adding a new entity type.

  3. Go to the Match settings tab to select the attributes to use in matching data. The first time that you open this tab, the IBM Match 360 service automatically generates some suggested attributes from your data model to use in matching.

  4. Review the list of matching attributes. These attributes will be used as the basis of comparison to match records and create master data entities. To add or remove attributes from the list, click Edit attributes then select or clear attributes and their component fields as needed.

    As you choose your matching attributes, use the Match strength indicator to see an estimate of how your changes affect the matching algorithm.

    If you have added any custom attributes to the data model, they are not selected for consideration in matching by default. If you want to use a custom attribute type in matching, you must select it and then specify which of its fields to consider. If you do not specify any fields, then the matching algorithim cannot use the attribute.

    For predefined (non-custom) attribute types, if you do not specify which fields to consider, the matching algorithm uses a default set of fields.

  5. When you are satisfied with your matching attributes, click Save.

Matching your data and reviewing results

To run matching on your record data to create master data entities:

  1. Click the navigation menu and select Matching setup to open the matching setup page.
  2. From the entity type menu, select the type of entity whose matching algorithm you want to run. The list of entity types is taken from your data model and follows the format Record type - Entity type.
  3. Click the run matching icon run matching icon in the action bar.

    The matching process takes a while to complete. It runs in the background so that you can continue working. You'll be notified when it's complete.

  4. When matching is complete, go to the Match results tab to see a dashboard of statistics and visualizations to provide insight about your master data.

    You can adjust your matching algorithm at any time by choosing different matching attributes or changing your autolink threshold

Managing match results

As you add more data sources and assets to your IBM Match 360 with Watson instance and rerun matching, the new data is matched both within itself and against the existing data in the system. In this way, you can build a unified, single, 360-degree view of your customers across your entire enterprise.

Next steps

Learn more

Parent topic: Configuring master data