MDM Terms In and Out of The Gartner 2020 Hype Cycle

The latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Data and Analytics Governance and Master Data Management includes some of the MDM trends that have been touched here on the blog.

If we look at the post peak side, there are these five MDM terms in motion:

  • Single domain MDM represented by the two most common domains being MDM of Product Data and MDM of Customer Data. Doing Customer MDM and Product MDM is according to Gartner still going up the slope of enslightment towards the plateau of productivity.
  • Multidomain MDM solutions as examined here on this blog in the post What is Multidomain MDM?.According to Gartner there are still desillusions to be made for these solutions.
  • Cloud MDM as for example pondered in a guest blog post on this blog. The post is called Cloud multi-domain MDM as the foundation for Digital Transformation. There is still a long downhill journey for cloud MDM in the eyes of the Gartner folks.
  • Data Hub Strategy which my also be coined Extended MDM as a data hub covers more data than master data as reported in the post Master Data, Product Information, Reference Data and Other Data. This trend is trailing cloud MDM on the Gartner Hype Cycle.
  • Interenterprise MDM, which before was coined Multienterprise MDM by Gartner and I like to coin Ecosystem Wide MDM. An example of a kind of solution with this theme will be PDS as explained in the post What is Product Data Syndication (PDS)? This trend has, estimated by Gartner, just passed the peak and have more than 5 years before reaching the plateau of productivity.

It is also worth noticing that Gartner has dropped the term Multivector MDM from the hype cycle. This term never penetrated the market lingo.

Another term that is related to- or opposed to– MDM and that is almost only used by Gartner is Application Data Management (ADM). That term is still in there making the under most radars progress near the final uphill climb.

Learn more about how solution providers cover these terms on The Resource List.

What is Multi-Domain MDM?

Multi-domain Master Data Management is usually perceived as the union of Customer MDM, Supplier MDM and Product MDM. It is. And it is much more than that.

Customer MDM is typically about federating the accounts receivable in the ERP system(s) and the direct and prospective accounts in the CRM system(s). Golden records are formed through deduplication of multiple representations of the same real-world entity.

Supplier (or vendor) MDM is typically about federating the accounts payable in the ERP system(s) and the existing and prospective accounts in the SRM system(s). A main focus is on the golden records and the company family tree they are in.

Product MDM has a buy-side and a sell-side.

On the buy-side MDM is taking care of trading data for products to resell, in manufacturing environments also the trading data for raw materials and in some cases also for parts to be used in Maintenance, Repair and Operation (MRO). The additional long tail of product specifications may in resell scenarios be onboarded in an embedded/supplementary Product Information Management (PIM) solution.

On the sell-side the trading data are handled for resell products and in manufacturing environments the finished products. The additional long tail of product specifications may be handled in an embedded/supplementary Product Information Management (PIM) solution.

What is multidomain MDM

Multidomain MDM does this in a single solution / suite of solutions. And much more as for example:

  • Supplier contacts can be handled in a generic party master data structure.
  • Customer contacts can be handled in a generic party master data structure
  • Besides the direct accounts in CRM the indirect accounts and contacts can in the party master data structure too. Examples of such parties are:
    • Influencers in the form of heath care professionals in life science.
    • Influencers in the form of architects and other construction professionals in building material manufacturing.
    • End consumers in many supply chain B2B2C scenarios.
  • Employee records can be handled in a generic party master data structure. The roles of sales representatives and their relation to customers, influencers, product hierarchies and location hierarchies can be handled as well as purchase responsibles and their relation to suppliers, influencers, product hierarchies and location hierarchies can be handled.
  • The relation between suppliers and product hierarchies and location hierarchies cand be handled.
  • The relation between customers and end consumers and the product hierarchies and location hierarchies can be handled.
  • Inbound product information feeds from suppliers can be organized and optimized through Product Data Syndication (PDS) solutions.
  • The relation between customer preferences and product information can be handled in Product eXperience Management (PXM) solutions.
  • Outbound product information feeds to resellers can be organized and optimized through Product Data Syndication (PDS) solutions.

This site has a list of the most innovative solutions that can either be your multi-domain solution or supplement other solutions as a best-of-breed component. Check the list here.

Party MDM

The Master Data Management (MDM) market has traditionally been divided into Customer MDM and Product MDM – with Vendor/Supplier MDM as a rarer third option.

However, from being an academic notion we see more and more implementations where the MDM solution is build as a Party MDM solution, where the party entity encompass customer, vendor/supplier, other business partners, internal business units and any other party entity that matters to the sell, buy and make side of the enterprise.

Party MDM

The party MDM concept will also encompass the employees (and contractors) in the business units – which can be seen as Human Resource MDM – as well as the contacts at B2B customers, vendors/suppliers and other business partners.

There are many drivers for building this model.

One example is that many enterprises, especially large corporations, has an intersection of customers and vendors/suppliers. This case was examined in the post How Bosch is Aiming for Unified Partner Master Data Management.

Then there is the good old question: “What is a customer?”. In many business scenarios there are more than direct customers that matters in marketing and selling. In manufacturing, including life science, there are B2B2C chains. In these and other industries there are influencers that matters. In life science that is healthcare professionals. In building materials that is for example architects and other construction professionals.

In banking the term counterparty is used to cover both direct customers and other parties that are referred to in the service delivery. In education there are teachers and students. In public administration there are citizens.

Practically all organizations have more parties than customers and vendors/suppliers involved in the operating model and therefore their descriptions must sooner or later be handled as master data in a unified Party MDM model. This will underpin the digital transformation that is on the agenda in every organization these days.

Six MDMographic Stereotypes

In the Select your solution service here on the site there are some questions about the scope of the intended MDM / PIM / DQM solutions and the number of master data entity records. These are among others:

  • How many B2C customer (consumer, citizen) records are in scope for the solution?
  • How many B2B customer / supplier (company) records are in scope for the solution?
  • How many product (SKU) records are in scope for the solution?

When looking at what the needed disciplines, capabilities and eventually what solution is the best fit there are some stereotypes of organizations where we see the same requirements. Here are six such stereotypes:

MDMographic Stereotypes

In type A, B and C party master data management is in focus, as the number of products (or services) is limited. This is common for example in the financial services, telco and utility sectors.

Type A is where we have both B2C customers and B2B customers. Besides B2B customers we also have suppliers and some company master data entities act both in customer and supplier roles or in other business partner (BP) roles.

Type B is where the business model is having B2B customers. One will though always find some anomalies where the customers are private, with selling to employees as one example.

Type C is where the business model is having B2C customers. One will though often find some examples of having a small portion of B2B customers as well. We find type C organizations in for example healthcare, membership and education.

In type M, D and R product master data management is of equal or more importance as party master data management is. At these stereotypes, we therefore also see the need for Product Information Management (PIM).

Type M is found at manufacturers including within pharmaceuticals. Here the number of products, customers and suppliers are in the same level. Customers are typically B2B, but we see an increasing tendency of selling directly to consumers through webshops or marketplaces. Additionally, such organizations are embarking in caring about, and keeping track of, the end costumers as in B2B2C.

Type D is merchants being B2B dealers and distributors (wholesale). Though it is still common to separate customer roles and supplier roles, we see an increasing adoption of the business partner (BP) concept, as there can be a substantial overlap of customer and supplier roles. In addition, suppliers can have fictitious customer (accounts receivable) roles for example when receiving bonusses from suppliers.

Type R is merchants being retailers. With the rise of ecommerce, retailers have the opportunity of, within the regulations in place, keeping track of the B2C customers besides what traditionally have been done in loyalty programs and more.

All master data domains, also those besides parties and products, matters in some degree to all organizations. The stereotypes guide where to begin and solution providers have the opportunity of doing well with the first domain and, if covered, proceed with the engagement when other domains come into play.

Digital Transformation Success Rely on MDM / PIM Success

It is hard to find an organization who do not want to be on the digital transformation wagon today. But how can you ensure that your digital transformation journey will be a success? One of the elements in making sure that this data driven process will be a success will be to have a solid foundation of Master Data Management (MDM) including Product Information Management (PIM).

The core concepts here are:

  • Providing a 360-degree view of master data entities: Engaging with your customers across a range of digital platforms is a core part of any digital transformation. Having a 360-degree view of your customer has never been more important, and that starts with well-organized and maintained customer master data. The same is true for supplier master data and other party master data. 360-degree view of locations is equally important. The same goes for products and assets as pondered in post Golden Records in Multidomain MDM.
  • Enabling happy self-service scenarios: Customer data are gathered from many sources and digital self-registration is becoming the most common used method. The self-service theme has also emerged in handling supplier master data as self-service based supplier portals have become common as the place where supplier/vendor master data is captured and maintained. Interacting with your trading partners on digital platforms and having the most complete product information in front of your customers in self-service online selling scenarios requires a solid foundation for product master data and Product experience Management (PxM).
  • Underpinning the best customer experience: Customer experience (CX) and MDM must go hand in hand. Both themes involve multiple business units and digital environments within your enterprise and in the wider business ecosystem, where your enterprise operates. Master data is the glue that brings the data you hold about your customers together as well as the glue that combines this with the data you share about your product offering.
  • Encompassing Internet of Things (IoT): Smart devices that produces big data can be used to gain much more insight about parties (in customer and other roles), products, locations and the things themselves. You can only do that effectively by relating IoT and MDM.

Digital Transformation Success