Matching vs. Searching

Search is broadening of result set, Match is focused result set
Search is low expectation of precision, Match is high expectation of precision

CRM Customers frequently use these two terms interchangeably; but there is a significant difference in what these terms mean – particularly in the context of CRM. When a customer is looking to perform a “match”, they are typically asking to compare information in the location being searched with a known inquiry set of data (i.e. “find something like this”). In contrast, when a customer performs a search, there is typically much more flexibility around what is being retrieved, and typically a human or other downstream process is making a selection from among multiple candidates (i.e. “I’ll know it when I see it.”)“Matching” typically works according to a predetermined process, although such process is often able to learn or draw inference over time. Searching is often tuned by observing the behavior of others and can be influenced by other factors designed to influence what the searcher sees (e.g. advertising, word substitution, etc.).

Within, the difference is most easily demonstrated by looking at the different use cases served by Clean and Prospector. Clean begins from the premise that a customer has a CRM account record that needs to be uniquely identified (or “matched”) against a specific record from the Dun & Bradstreet Global Database. In this use case, there is a specific question to be answered – what is the best record in the Dun & Bradstreet file that most likely represents the same entity as the information currently on the customer’s account record in Once this question is answered and the Identity of the business represented by the customer account record is confirmed, the process can now move on to enrich the account data and keeping this information up to date over time.

The use case in Prospector is more focused on helping a customer to explore the Dun & Bradstreet global database to find new companies for the purpose of building new relationships. In this case, there is no specific predetermined answer. Instead, a customer enters their search criteria into the initial search form and can then use a variety of filtering capabilities to further refine the search as they view the results. Once the customer has completed their exploration of the data, the final result set can be brought into the CRM system so relationship-building processes can be initiated.

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