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  • Reclassifier

Product Ontology and Semantic Engines for Master Data Management.

Introduction:

Master Data Management (MDM) is a critical aspect of modern business operations across various industries. Accurate, complete, and consistent master data helps streamline processes, improve operational efficiencies, and minimize errors. However, traditional approaches to MDM involve manual data cleansing, reconciliation, and matching techniques, which are time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive. In light of this challenge, many businesses are turning to AI solutions to automate and augment their MDM processes. This post presents a real-world case study highlighting how Reclassify AI's approach can transform MDM practices within enterprises of all sizes.


Background:

The manufacturing sector faces significant challenges in managing product master data efficiently. Commonplace to the industry, products are spread across multiple plants and facilities globally. Maintaining consistency and accuracy in product attributes like names, descriptions, codes, specifications, and pricing can prove to be a daunting task. Oftentimes plants have unique sets of product definitions, resulting in inconsistencies, duplicates, and gaps in the overall product portfolio view. Consequently, sales, marketing, logistics, finance, and engineering teams often encounter confusion, delays, and discrepancies while accessing product details.


Approach:

To address these issues, Reclassify AI leverages cognitive science based solutions to enhance MDM practices. Immediate benefits can be achieved relatively quickly by utilizing advanced Knowledge Engineering practices and and Real-Time Matching phases.


Knowledge Engineering Phase:

During this phase, Reclassify AI's team will collaborate with subject matter experts to identify key concepts, synonyms, abbreviations, acronyms, units, and dimensions relevant to product master data. We create a structured vocabulary called a Product Ontology, to serve as a blueprint for defining product entities and their relationships. Using cognitive principles, linguistic analysis, and domain-specific rules, Reclassify AI's engineers develop a semantic engine capable of understanding variations in product nomenclatures and capturing underlying meanings. The engine utilizes advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL) models to enrich and harmonize product data from disparate sources automatically.


Real-Time Matching Phase:

After creating the Product Ontology and training the semantic engine, Reclassify AI deploys a real-time matching system that compares new or updated product records against existing ones to detect potential conflicts or discrepancies. Whenever there are matches found, the system flags them for further review by authorized personnel. During the review process, the system provides detailed explanations and rationale for each match proposal, along with suggestions for resolving any mismatches or merging overlapping entities. Additionally, the system generates reports and dashboards illustrating the state of the product catalog, including statistics on matches, misses, false positives, and false negatives.


Results:

Benefits across all facets of its MDM practice. Specifically:


Improved Consistency and Completeness - With the Product Ontology serving as a single source of truth, product attributes become uniform, reducing ambiguity and misunderstanding. Also, missing attributes could now be identified quickly, allowing faster resolution times.


Reduced Errors and Duplications - By automating the matching and deduplication steps using AI, fewer manual interventions are needed, thereby minimizing transcription mistakes, typographical errors, and duplicate entries.


Increased Efficiency and Agility - Since the matching process no longer requires dedicated resources or long lead times, product updates can be processed much faster. Further, the system's self-learning capability allows it to adapt and refine itself continuously based on feedback received.


Enhanced Collaboration and Communication - As product information flows seamlessly across departments and geographies, cross-functional collaboration improves significantly. Teams can now work together more effectively since everyone shares a common perspective on what constitutes a valid product definition.


Conclusion:

Thanks to the enhanced accuracy, completeness, and consistency achieved, customers can realize tangible benefits, including better customer satisfaction, lower operating costs, and increased competitiveness quickly. Organizations looking to implement similar initiatives should consider working with Reclassify AI to leverage the full potential of cognitive science approaches in MDM applications.

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