Proactively Saving Private Ryan

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Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war drama film that received universal critical acclaim, won multiple awards and earned significantly at the box office.   It was a cult movie of sorts as people of my generation would already be aware.  A quick summarized context for bringing the rest up to speed (courtesy […]

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war drama film that received universal critical acclaim, won multiple awards and earned significantly at the box office.
 
It was a cult movie of sorts as people of my generation would already be aware.  A quick summarized context for bringing the rest up to speed (courtesy Wiki):
“In Washington, D.C, at the U.S. War Department, General George Marshall is informed that three of the four brothers of the Ryan family were killed in action and that their mother is to receive all three telegrams in the same day. He learns that the fourth son, Private First Class James Francis Ryan, is a paratrooper and is missing in action somewhere in Normandy. Marshall, after reading Abraham Lincoln’s Bixby letter, orders that Ryan be found and sent home immediately.  A team is assembled with the sole task of delivering Private Ryan safe and sound to his Mother.”
 
The movie shows data operators (similar to data analysts) at the U.S. War Department, using typewriters and manually analysing the data to gain insights.  A lady, probably the team lead rushes to her superior’s office to give him outcome of the analytics where in 3 brothers have lost their lives for their country while the fourth is well on his way to do the same.  That insight is taken all the way up to the General and then the rescue team is drafted and wheels set in motion.
 
Let’s now take a moment to understand what the data operator and her team were doing.  They were working on individual soldier / private entities and then they correlated some of such entities based on some pre-determined matching criteria.
 
In data management or to be more specific, in master data management terms, they were performing House Holding – they took individuals and mapped them to a single household based on the address, phone number, last name and some such details.  And that’s how the insight towards the need for “Saving Private Ryan” was gained.
 
But then the above scenario is all too reactive.
We are now in the cloud and big data phase, demanding instant gratification!  Now is the time with supporting and enabling capabilities to be PROACTIVE!
 
Let’s go through some hypothetical scenarios where in the US War Department has a mature MDM solution with house holding already in place:
 
Scenario 1:

  • Brother 1 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 2 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Army has restricted the count of enlistments to 2 from 1 Family (house hold) and hence Brothers 3 and 4 are not allowed to enlist

 
Scenario 2:

  • Brother 1 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 2 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 3 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is assigned to a desk job as 2 of his kin are already on the ground
  • Brother 4 is not allowed to enlist owing to a restriction by the Army of not allowing more than 3 to enlist from a Family (house hold)

 
Scenario 3:

  • Brother 1 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 2 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brothers 3 & 4 are assigned to desk jobs in the Army owing to the pre-held restriction

 
Scenario 4 (with flavors of dark humor):

  • Brother 1 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 2 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 3 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Brother 4 from Ryan Family enlists in the Army and is sent for war
  • Remaining members of Ryan Family are automatically enlisted in the Army and are sent for war (thereby eliminating the need for bringing either Family member back home)

 
Moral of the above scenarios is that if proactive MDM were to have been deployed, there would have been no need for Saving Private Ryan, at all!  Not a good thing though for all movie enthusiasts, including me.
 
On a serious note, with all due respect to this fantastic movie & with all due respect to data management, hope this leads to appreciation towards the power of proactive data management, whichever field or domain it might be used in.
 
Proactive Data Management means PROACTIVELY SAVING PRIVATE & PUBLIC $$$$$s!

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