Entity Resolution and Event Correlation – Datalake DQ

DQ ( Data Quality) historically started with missing values and then moved into address correction and data enrichment ( Geo Encoding, Standardization etc.) Data Quality tools have been successfully solved the traditional data quality problems; like the ones discussed above.

So far, DQ was single source and single domain. With the advent of data lake, DQ has to adopt to new strategy. Event Correlation and Entity Resolution are going to be crucial for data lake validation. DQ tools have to provide these 2 must features for data lake.

Entity Resolution : Data lake will hold data from multiple sources and domains. It would be critical to create right entities from the data set. Following will be prime components of Entity Resolution (ER)

a.) Fuzzy Join : we have so many joins ( inner, outer, left outer, semi , equi etc ) supported today but they match exact values. Dimension from multiple sources may not have exact match  ( like name or address). Fuzzy join will match values which are similar but may not match exactly – like John Smith and John Smithe

b.) Algorithm for picking dimension values : Datalake will contain data from multiple CRMs, domains. While matching dimensional values, there will conflict which one to pick – let say SalesForce has different address, Sales mart has different address, the data you bought have different address. The entity should have one master address. ER algorithm will pick the right value based on timeliness, validity of source, most common occurrence etc.

c.) Entity Classification: Once the Entity Unique id and master dimensions are identifies, next step involves classifying the entity using business rules. These entity may be outdated, inactive or have little relevance. Once entity is classified and tagged, it can be used for further analysis or can be put in historical datalake. An entity with missing critical dimensional value will be dumped in dirty datalake for further investigation.

Event Correlation:  Theoretically, event is also an entity but I am putting it different header because it is temporal in nature and the algorithms used for correlation events would be different.

a.) Range Bound Correlation : Hardly two correlated event will occur at same time. One event will fire another event which may lag in time or place or in both. Along with event identifier fields, range bound dimension will be used to correlate events. Business rules will decide the  width of boundary.

b.) Event aggregation : An event can fire many sub events and super events. All these events has to suppressed into one related event. Event Correlation (EC) algorithms will map all these events into related event and cause and bring into human readable format.

c.) Noise reduction:  Aggregated event may be a false event or noise. Business rules will decide will event should be carried forward ( assuming they have strong correlation with business )and which should be dropped. Events will also go through business classification to rank their importance.

Conclusion:  Datalake will bring new challenges to Data Quality which will go through transformation to solve new problems. DQ will move from :

i)Single Source   –> DataLake

ii)Structure Analysis –> Mapping Entity

iii) Operational —> Analysis

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