Moving house and denormalised data 

There’s a lot of abstract talk about data normalisation and having a single source of truth within your organisation for each type of data. Sometimes this goes very wrong. 

I moved house this year, and whilst I accept the extra administration that comes from each organisation needing to be updated individually (after all, why should DVLA need to know who I bank with?), I do expect each organisation to make it easy to change my address. 

And it was easy, except for my bank. Current accounts, credit cards and savings are all managed separately, the address I see online is unrelated to any of these, and I have to change my address on joint and single accounts separately. 

I don’t care what your backend system is like. My interface should be one call and you sort it out, not keep redirecting me to queue after queue. And sending me a letter to the new address telling me it’s fixed, followed by another letter dated a week later to the old address with marketing in it. 

And then, I tried to phone them about that letter, and I couldn’t pass their security questions, because my address was updated everywhere except the phone validation system. 

How easy is it for your data subjects to update their data? One call or many? Is their security tied to that data – could they lose access if a bad agent adds a new address or credit card? How confident are you that you know all the places in your user, marketing, communication and other databases that need updating? 

How can you make it easier? 

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