Matching and Golden Records

What is data matching?

Data matching is the process of comparing different sets of data and matching them against each other. The purpose is to find the data that refers to the same subject (person or asset). Often, the data has no common identifiers. Data matching can also be useful to identify records within a database. 

Matching several different records about the same subject is an important step in creating a ‘Golden Record’, the most accurate and complete record of an individual, property or asset. 

We offer:

Individual /Single Asset Matching

  • Any number of matching rules
  • Matching rule contains any combination of fields
  • Definition of matching rule is not limited to fields or field relationships
  • Field comparisons can have multiple clauses
  • Rules can be generic across a whole data estate
  • Rules can be grown and developed in response to changes in data (new cohorts/demographics)
  • Best upon best practice and experience we can offer out-of-the-box matching rule toolboxes developed in partnership with multiple clients in for specific industries
  • Outcomes from matching rules. 1. New Individual. 2 Definite match to an individual. 3 Proposed match to an individual
  • Automatic and proposed (partial/suggested) matches depending on certainty of data
  • Keying subjects to create Golden Records: The key singularly identifies an individual or asset in the same way across all systems they appear in (and are matched to) and the golden record creates the best representation of that person from the available data

Matching Groups and Families (Using Golden Record)

  • Multi-level matching to show known associations, discover relationships and contexts (Supporting Families family links)
  • Multi-source (Police, Education, Address) group building for gang involvement recognition with additional layers of clauses pertaining to relationships and known associations
  • Most trusted sources with field level weighting
  • Domain/personal group matching

Golden Record

Use the matches found to generate a golden record which combines the best data about a person to create a single source of truth

Customize which data sources are most trusted and up-to date to priorities data from preferred sources without having to exclude other sources with the Most Trusted Hierarchy.

Determine most trusted sources at field level. Some fields can be more trusted than others, by managing trusted hierarchy at field level the development of a Golden Record can prioritise the incorporating of information from certain facets of the source record you know to be accurate but discount other fields that are less trusted.  

Golden records can be used as a basis for other systems or Bi/Analytics. Analytics, particularly advanced methods based on Machine Learning or AI technologies, perform better and offer richer insight the more information that are fed. The completeness of Golden Records is the most effective foundation for this purpose. 

No discarding of source records. In matching records for the creation or development of a Golden Record you do not lose data. The matched or unmatched records can be retained for audit purposes – allowing users to understand exactly what sources and fields contributed the Golden Record and which did not. The raw source data is retained for a complete audit trail and complete visibility of both non-contributing and contributing information ‘behind’ the Golden Record.  

See how: Empowering MDM With Efficient Data Matching

Most Trusted Hierarchy

As different data sources and multiple records are matched these can build a most complete ‘Golden Record’ of a person, property or asset. But not all sources can be treated equally, certain sources are more trustworthy and accurate than others.

By using a Most Trusted Hierarchy it is possible to customise which sources are given precedence of others in shaping a Golden Record. This allows the Golden Record to be populated with the best quality data, ensuring less trustworthy information does not overwrite trusted information but can contribute detail where previously there was none.  




Match records in different formats, of inconsistent data quality, to create accurate and complete subject records 

Golden Record


Create Golden Records by matching multiple records with most trusted hierarchy, validation rules, automated and self-approved matching.   

Universal Sentinel Key

The Universal Sentinel Key allows all records to be assigned a key for effective organisation and matching, even if record information does not contribute a Golden Record the key will preserve the history for audit purposes.

Key Synchronisation


All Golden Record keys can be traced back to the matched feed records, keys are synchronised so you can always trace back to source and understand which records contributed to the creation of a Golden Record.  

Grouping (Families)


Matching rules can be set to match certain groups according to key information such as surname, address, associations, and more. 

Transform data use in your organisation

Book your free data assessment today, and find out how much of an impact Sentinel's Master Data Management tools can have on your business.

  • Strict control and monitoring of data quality
    and completeness
  • Built using the ICO's "data protection by design"
  • Trusted by public sector organisations and local authorities
  • Experienced, dedicated team of data integration and data sharing specialists

Take the hassle out of data management. Call us on +44(0)800 612 2116 or email us [email protected].