Blog > Data Integrity > The Most Magical Time of the Year….? All Santa needs is Data Integrity!

The Most Magical Time of the Year….? All Santa needs is Data Integrity!

Stacey Grant | December 13, 2023

Have you ever thought about the logistics involved in delivering gifts to children all around the world….in one night?? Put yourself in Santa’s shoes… receive millions, potentially billions, of requests for gifts from children all over the world via letter, text, WhatsApp, email, and so on. And in multiple languages too! You need to collate all that information into a central database so you have a consolidated list of what each child wants. Then you need to understand where all these children live, so you can plan the delivery of gifts in the most efficient way. Think about it. It’s a logistical and data management nightmare!

The preparation

First things first. Collect all the requests and consolidate them into a single repository, so your elves know exactly how many of each type of toy they need to make. Then identify gaps – what if some letters got lost in the mail or a child forgot to send their letter? Maybe they got Santa’s email address wrong? You don’t want a child missing out on their gift. Using demographic data, Santa and his elves can get a complete picture of how many children are in each household and their ages.

Once all the information is consolidated into a single database, including the child’s name, address, age, contact details and gift, you have one very large and very messy database! What if the address is wrong or missing crucial information? Again, we don’t want children to miss out. Did you know that there are 38 cities in the world called Paris? If you don’t have complete address information including house number, zip/postal code and country, the gift could end up in the wrong country. Using data quality and address validation tools, Santa’s team can cleanse, standardize and dedupe the data to ensure it has maximum accuracy and integrity, so that every child gets a suitable gift and they are delivered to the correct house!

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The logistics

Once the elves are underway with toy production, Santa needs to tackle the logistical nightmare of how to deliver all these toys in the most efficient way, taking into account time zones and weather. First, he needs to plan the route – the order in which to visit each town and each house in that town, to ensure he gets all the gifts delivered in time. Using location intelligence and geocoding tools, Santa can map out every child’s address and create a route ahead of time to plan exactly where he needs to be and when, taking into account sufficient time to consume the milk and cookies of course!

Santa also needs to consider how to access each house. Not all houses have chimneys, so he needs to figure out access. He also needs to consider the safety of his reindeers, so understanding roof size, angle and material is very important. Luckily building information is available to help ensure a safe place for the sleigh and reindeer to land.

The journey

A plan is great, but things change, and the weather can play havoc. Santa could encounter a snowstorm in the northern hemisphere or a cyclone in the southern hemisphere! By incorporating traffic information and real-time weather updates, Santa can recalculate his route on the go, to avoid delays. By leveraging the data and technology available, Santa might even finish early so he can get home in time for dinner with Mrs Claus!

Phew! I never realised just what a data challenge Santa faces each year and how important it is for him to have accurate and consistent data with maximum integrity, to make sure that no child misses out. You guessed it….Santa and his elves use Precisely’s Data Integrity Suite to ensure this really is the most magical time of the year!