Source systems may not cater for middle names, and instead capture middle names within the first names field. In these cases there is no clear way to distinguish between first names and middle names. This is because some customers may have multiple first and/or middle names such as “Billie Jean Joseph” or “Xin Yi”. We propose that the standards body defines a simple standardised rule for consistency.
For data quality reasons, the Data Standards Body (DSB) has consistently refrained from providing guidance or setting expectations for manipulating data.
This is partially because the nuances and permutations are too complex and contextual for the DSB to adequately address these issues. The DSB has experienced participant resistance to requiring data manipulation algorithms. There has been concern expressed that this introduces "derived data".
Currently the DSB position is that these decisions are left to the discretion of the Data Holder.