Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MDM in the real world

Master data management has become remarkably trendy now, with software vendors lining up to re-badge their offerings as relating to master data in some way. Some of these offerings run best on the overhead projector, and it is relatively hard to find customers who have actually finished an MDM project and been live for some time, rather than those have completed pilot projects or are "investigating" the issue (i.e. attending conferences in nice sunny locations)

Irrespective of your technology choice, if you want to look at MDM at the sharp end then you could do worse than read a Ventana report which documents several KALIDO MDM customer case studies bsed on in-depth interviews of these customers by Ventana analysts. The case studies show a number if important points whatever technology you are using e.g. the sheer breadth of master data that is out there just waiting to be managed. One bank implemented an MDM system to manage the various versions of statutory accounts that are submitted by its numerous subsidiaries, and which have to be carefully consolidated from a compliance viewpoint. As you can imagine, there is a lot of complexity in the master data associated with a chart of accounts for a massive international bank. This is a long way from the customer hub stereotype that many peopel have of MDM projects.

Another customer manages 350 different types of master data, showing that "customer" and "product" are just a small part of the problem. An issue discussed in the report is the need to set the MDM project in the context of a data governance initiative, for example defining roles for data "customers", "administrators" and "stewards", each of whom have different responsibilities. Any MDM project will have to address the organizational issues and roles of this type, and the issues encountered will be similar, even if the Kalido-specific elements of the report is not of interest to you.

3 Comments:

Blogger Nigel said...

Not all commentators seem to get the difference of emphasis between MDM (a business process, if you like) and Data Warehousing (a technique). See for example MDM may change your life - or not in Regdeveloper.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Andy Hayler said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment Nigel - the article you point to is indeed an interesting one. For me MDM is mainly about the processes of managing master data, with a data warehouse an important tool contributing to that process.

1:46 AM  
Blogger jeff nolan said...

MDM is as pointed out, a process or strategy and not just a product. We've spent a lot of time and energy branding an MDM product even though we've always known it to be a process, which is why many commentators have pointed out that we appear to be stalled. Look for some renewed efforts around this, SAP recognizes that this a point for account control, in fact, it's one of the 2 historical competencies that underpins our success, the other being transaction control.

7:54 AM  

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