MDM Critical Data Elements

Please find below a mind map with some of the most common critical data elements that are considered to be master data:

Master Data Mind Map

The map is in no way exhaustive and if you feel some more very important and common data elements should be there, please comment.

The data elements are grouped within the most common master data domains handled today, being party master data, product master data and location master data.

Please find some more information about some of data elements here:

The mind map has a selection of flags around where master data are geographically dependent. Again, this is not exhaustive. If you have examples of diversities within master data, please also comment.

IoT and MDM

With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT), asset – seen as a thing – is seriously entering the Master Data Management (MDM) world. These things are smart devices that produces big data we can use to gain much more insight about parties (in customer and other roles), products, locations and the things themselves.

In the old MDM world with party, product and location we had 3 types of relationships between entities in these domains. With the inclusion of asset/thing we have 3 more challenging relationship types.

IoT and MDM

The Old MDM World

1: Handling the relationship between a party at its location(s) as for example a postal address and possibly also a geocode is one of the core capabilities of a proper party MDM solution.

2: Managing the relationship between parties and products is essential in supplier master data management and tracking the relationship between customers and products is a common multidomain MDM use case.

3:  Products are often related to a location, product features and not at least the language(s) used has a relation to locations and digital assets as certificates are location dependent.

The New MDM World

4: We need to be aware of who owns, operates, maintains, manufactured and have other party roles with any smart device being a part of the Internet of Things.

5: In order to make sense of the big data coming from fixed or moving smart devices we need to know the location context.

6: Further, we must include the product information of the product model for the smart devices.

Our List and the Other Lists

The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions List is a list of Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) solutions.

You can use this list when making a solution provider longlist and shortlist for an MDM and/or PIM solution.

There are other such lists out there – which is good. Many organisations rely on the major analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester when compiling such lists. So, let’s have a look at how our listed solutions providers are represented in the reports published by these analyst firm.

This walk through is based on a blog post with the title Several Sources of Truth about MDM / PIM Solutions.

  • Reltio is a leader in the Forrester MDM wave and is also included in the Gartner MDM quadrant.
  • Riversand is a strong MDM and PIM performer at the Forrester waves and a visionary in the Gartner MDM quadrant.
  • Semarchy just made a high jump into the Gartner MDM quadrant challenger zone and according to Forrester they have the strongest MDM strategy possible.
  • EnterWorks is a PIM leader and also an MDM leader according to Forrester and is also included in the Gartner MDM quadrant.
  • Magnitude Software has moved up from contender to be a strong performer in the Forrester Wave.
  • Contentserv is a PIM leader on the Forrester wave and is also included in the Gartner MDM quadrant.
  • AllSight has recently been acquired by Informatica, who is an MDM leader both with Forrester and Gartner.

Our other listed solutions are SyncForce, Dynamicweb PIM, Agility Multichannel and Product Data Lake (who is behind this list).

Vendors can register and present themselves on our list.


Extended MDM Platforms

There is a tendency on the Master Data Management (MDM) market that solutions providers aim to deliver an extended MDM platform to underpin customer experience efforts. Such a platform will not only handle traditional master data, but also reference data, big data (as data lakes) either directly or by linking to the data in there as well as linking to transactions.

The recent acquisition of AllSight by Informatica is an example hereof.

In this context traditional MDM will, supplemented with Reference Data Management (RDM), enable the handling of:

  • Customer, supplier and product identity
  • Customer, supplier and product hierarchies
  • Customer, supplier and product locations

Additionally, the data lake concept can be used for:

Extended MDM Platforms

What is your view: Should MDM solution providers stick to traditional master data or should they strive to encompass other kinds of data too?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Master Data Management (MDM)

One of the hottest topics in the Master Data Management (MDM) realm right now is how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Master Data Management stick together.

The MDM platform vendors are thus also busy with promoting the AI and ML capabilities within their offerings.

Some examples are:

Reltio: The Reltio page on AI, ML and Deep Learning (DL) focusses on two main scenarios:

  • Continuously improving consistency, accuracy, and manageability for better data quality (DQ), uncovering patterns, anomaly detection and streamlining data-driven jobs.
  • Using data-driven applications to enable a seamless foundation for the generation of relevant insights and contextual recommended actions.

Riversand: In a post called Cloud multi-domain MDM as the foundation for Digital Transformation Riversand CEO Upen Veranasi emphasized that enterprises want to better understand their customers (utilizing customer insights through AI), create/sell products and services that meet and exceed customer expectations (product positioning through AI), meet their customers across all touch points (channel management), secure their customer’s information (privacy), and interact with trading partners to creating cutting edge product differentiation (cloud and AI).

Enterworks: In a recent Enterworks product announcement it was stressed that “future proofing” investments mean that core data management hubs can provide the data to harness the advances in other technologies, such as AI and machine learning.

Artificial Intelligence is also a frequent topic on MDM conferences around. The MDM Summit Europe 2019 in London is no exception with multiple sessions touching on the connection between AI and MDM – with the presentation from yours truly as an example. You can view the entire agenda for this event here.