Tools for matching and linking people data

Can you help? Those of you that know me will be aware that my technical specialism is master data management.

At Camden Council, and more recently Nesta, I have had lots of requests to explain how Camden went about implementing its Residents Index.

This is the silo-busting demographic indexing solution which enables service improvement, counter fraud savings and early intervention.

It’s my view that all councils would benefit from such a tool. I’m looking at ways of trying to make the technology and methodology for implementing such a solution quick, simple, cheap and rapidly deployable across local government. 

In the next month I’m putting together a how-to guide which will cover:

  • The business case and return on investment 
  • How to engage with information owners, and data analysts to get the data
  • The information sharing and privacy issues
  • The data structure
  • The specification and selection of tools
  • The in-house skills needed
  • The evaluation process

I would be so grateful if you can also help me by telling me what tools you are using.

I am looking for tools that are: 

  • Probabilistic matching technologies that automate data matching of demographic / people information between multiple line of business systems to produce an index.
  • This is not about CRM systems with case data.


  • In- built role based security configuration tools, and restrictions on different data views


  • Have an in-built user interface for front line staff.


  • Intuitive  – minimal internal expertise / staff support costs / training 


  • Preferably open source


  • I’ll include other proprietary tools but if so I need ball park whole contract costs per average Local Authority in bands: e.g. 0-£25k, £25k-£150k, £150k-£300k, £300k+. 
  • Linking people data across systems in real time or at least in overnight batches.

The solutions need to available on premise or securely in the cloud.  If they are in the cloud – the supplier would need to be willing to take security liability for personal data.

Whilst I will consider approaches from salespeople I am really interested in suggestions from colleagues across any sector that have used the tools in practice. 

I’m also looking for people to review the draft ‘how to’ sections so that it can be as relevant, practical and useful as possible.

I want you to be able to fill in the templates, present it to your Chief Executive, then crack on and implement it in 3 months as we did in Camden.

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