8 Forms of Master Data Management

8 forms MDM

Master Data Management (MDM) can take many forms. In the following I will shortly introduce 8 forms of MDM. A given MDM implementation will typically be focused on one of these forms with some elements of the other forms and a given piece of technology will have an origin in one of these forms and in more or less degree encompass some more forms:

1.      The traditional MDM platform: A traditional MDM solution is a hub for master data aiming at delivering a single source of truth (or trust) for master data within a given organization either enterprise wide or within a portion of an enterprise. The first MDM solutions were aimed at Customer Data Integration (CDI), because having multiple and inconsistent data stores for customer data with varying data quality is a well-known pain point almost everywhere. Besides that, similar pain points exist around vendor data and other party roles, product data, assets, locations and other master data domains and dedicated solutions for that are available.

2.      Product Information Management (PIM): Special breed of solutions for Product Information Management aimed at having consistent product specifications across the enterprise to be published in multiple sales channels have been around for years and we have seen a continuously integration of the market for such solutions into the traditional MDM space as many of these solutions have morphed into being a kind of MDM solution.

3.      Digital Asset Management (DAM): Not at least in relation to PIM we have a distinct discipline around handling digital assets as text documents, audio files, video and other rich media data that are different from the structured and granular data we can manage in data models in common database technologies. A post on this blog examines How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

4.      Big Data Integration: The rise of big data is having a considerable influence on how MDM solutions will look like in the future. You may handle big data directly inside MDM og link to big data outside MDM as told in the post about The Intersection of MDM and Big Data.

5.      Application Data Management (ADM): Another area where you have to decide where master data stops and handling other data starts is when it comes to transactional data and other forms data handled in dedicated applications as ERP, CRM, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and plenty of other industry specific applications. This conundrum was touched in a recent post called MDM vs ADM.

6.      Multi-Domain MDM: Many MDM implementations focus on a single master data domain as customer, vendor or product or you see MDM programs that have a multi-domain vision, overall project management but quite separate tracks for each domain. We have though seen many technology vendors preparing for the multi-domain future.

7.      MDM in the cloud: MDM follows the source applications up into the cloud. New MDM solutions naturally come as a cloud solution. The traditional vendors introduce cloud alternatives to or based on their proven on-promise solutions. There is only one direction here: More and more cloud MDM – also as customer as business partner engagement will take place in the cloud.

8.      Ecosystem wide MDM: Doing MDM enterprise wide is hard enough. But it does not stop there. Increasingly every organization will be an integrated part of a business ecosystem where collaboration with business partners will be a part of digitalization and thus we will have a need for working on the same foundation (doing Multienterprise MDM as Gartner coins it) as reported in the post Ecosystem Wide MDM.

PS: If you are a vendor on the MDM, PIM or DAM market you can promote your solution here on the list and emphasize on the forms you support. Registration can be done here.

MDM Fact or Fiction: Who Knows?

Over at the IRM connects blog Aaron Zornes wrote about MDM & Data Governance Market 2018-19: Facts vs. Beliefs.

It is always fun to be entertained by analysts bashing each other and Aaron Zornes makes no exception in his blog post when pointing out that it took Gartner 12 years to realize that there are not two MDM markets anymore (Customer MDM / CDI vs Product MDM /PIM) but only one.

Also, the recent vitalized notion of Application Data Management (ADM) by Gartner gets a few words about who is lagging and who is leading in market analysis.

Else the two entertaining trends the coming years will according to Aaron Zornes be Graph databases and machine learning.

MDM ADMSo, a lot of questions for buyers and vendors are piling up:

  • Should your solution be multi-domain MDM or will there still be room for specialized CDI (Customer Data Integration) and PIM (Product Information Management) solutions?
  • Does ADM (Application Data Management) solutions, meaning building your master data capabilities inside ERP, CRM and so make sense?
  • Will graph databases really brake through in MDM soon?
  • Can ML (Machine Learning) help delivering business benefits in MDM – and when will that happen?

As the analysts disagree between each other, you can have your say here on the list by commenting on this blog post, under the registered solutions or as a not yet listed vendor registering your disruptive solution.