When implementing Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM) solutions in international environments – and even in national environments in countries with more than one official language – there will be some requirements around multi-cultural aspects of the solution. These are namely:
- Multi-language capabilities
- Handling different character sets and script systems
- Utilizing third party reference data
A lot of master data elements can be represented in different languages. Examples are:
- City names
- Product classifications
- Product descriptions
The ability to store master data in different language versions, validate according to the language in play and consume the data in the right context can be an essential factor when selecting the right tool and configuration of a tool.
When doing a Proof of Concept of a solution where the end environment will be international, you must do the pilot covering several languages.
Character sets and script systems
Critical data elements must often be kept in versions covering more than one character set or even script system. Examples are:
- Person and company names
- Postal addresses
- Product features
While most solutions in the MDM, PIM and DQM space has developed a lot since examples of only covering the English alphabet in capital letters, there are still capability gaps worth exploring before implementing your solution in all corners of the world.
Third party reference data
The availability and requirements around referencing and enriching with third party data from public, commercial and open sources differs a lot from country to country. This includes:
- External company IDs as Legal Entity Identifiers, Duns Numbers, national registration numbers (SIREN, ABN, KvK, CVR…..) and VAT numbers.
- External person IDs as national ID systems (SSN, NINO, NIF, CF, INSEE, SIN, CPR ….)
- Postal code systems (ZIP, PLZ, PIN ….) and address directories for the given country.
When working with third party reference data for purposes of unique identification, enrichment and validation you must strike a balance between having a uniform global process and local best practices (and lawful processes) for each master data domain.
Some solutions are very fit for a given geography but may have challenges in other geographies.
Your context, scope and requirements
When selecting an MDM, PIM and/or DQM solution you must take relevant multi-cultural capabilities into consideration. The tool selection help service on this site also covers the multi-cultural context, scope and requirements. You can access Select your solution here.
PS: The tower shown is The Tower of Babel.