MDM Terms on the Move in the Gartner 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 terms in motion:

  • Single domain MDM represented by the two most common domains being MDM of Product Data and MDM of Customer Data.
  • Multidomain MDM.
  • Interenterprise MDM, which before was coined Multienterprise MDM by Gartner and as I like to coin Ecosystem Wide MDM.
  • Data Hub Strategy which I like to coin Extended MDM.
  • Cloud MDM.
Source: Gartner

The hype cycle from last year was examined in the post MDM Terms in Use in the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Compared to last year this has happened to MDM:

  • Multidomain MDM has moved on from the Trough of Disillusionment to climbing up the Slope of Enlightenment. I have been waiting for this to happen for 10 years – both in the hype cycle and in the real-world – since I founded the Multi-Domain MDM Group on LinkedIn back then.
  • Interinterprise MDM has swapped place with Cloud MDM, so this term is now ahead of Cloud MDM. It is though hard to imagine Interenterprise MDM without Cloud MDM, and MDM in the cloud will also according Gartner reach the the Plateau of Productivity before ecosystem wide MDM. The promise of this is also in accordance with a poll I made as told in the post Interenterprise MDM Will be Hot.

You can get the full report from the MDM consultancy parsionate here.

The Forrester Data Governance Wave 2021

Solutions for data governance are still rare. However, more and more organizations are looking for the technology part of the data governance discipline to underpin the else predominant people and process part of this challenge.

The Forrester Data Governance Wave 2021 is a list of solutions for data governance. As rightfully stated in the report: “Organizations have an ever-increasing appetite to leverage their data for business advantage, either through internal collaboration, data sharing across ecosystems, direct commercialization, or as the basis for AI-driven business decision-making. While doing so, organizations must take care to maintain employee, partner, and customer trust in their approach of leveraging data (and technology fueled by data). This requires data governance and data governance solutions to step up once again and enable data-driven businesses to leverage their data responsibly, ethically, compliantly, and accountably.”

The wave looks like this:

The solutions included seems to be a mix of data governance pure players, data privacy and data protection specialists and more general data management solution providers.

Erwin has been better known for their data modelling technology, which they still do also.

Infogix was acquired by Precisely recently and as they also recently have acquired PIM/MDM technology, the Infogix solution may become part of a wider stack.

Ataccama is also a recognized MDM and Data Quality Tool vendor.

Not surprisingly Informatica is missing from the list as Informatica and Forrester seem to have dysfunctional relationship. I think the list is incomplete without Informatica – and IBM as well, though they do all the other data management stuff too. Like SAP who is in there.

You can, against your Personal Identifiable Information, get a free copy of the report from Ataccama here.

Precisely Becomes a Multidomain Vendor

Yesterday Precisely announced that they are going to acquire Winshuttle.

This acquisition comes just after that Precisely took over Infogix as reported in the post Precisely Nabs Another Old One. Also, Precisely, then named Syncsort, took over a part of Pitney Bowes not too long ago as examined in the post Syncsort Nabs Pitney Bowes Software Solutions.

The previous acquisitions have strengthened the Precisely offerings around data quality for the customer master data domain and the adjacent location domain.

The Winshuttle take over will make Precisely a multidomain vendor adding cross domain capabilities and specific product domain capabilities.

The original Winshuttle capabilities revolves around process automation for predominately SAP environments covering all master data domains and further Application Data Management (ADM).

As Winshuttle recently took over the Product Information Management (PIM) solution provider Enterworks, this will bring capabilities around product master data management and thus make Precisely a provider for a broad spectrum of master data domains.

The interesting question will be in what degree Precisely over the time will be willing to and able to integrate these different solutions so a one-stop-shopping experience will become a one-stop digital experience for their clients.

Conflicting Analyst Views on the PIM Market

As reported in the previous post here on this blog Forrester published their Product Information Management (PIM) 2021 Q2 Wave last week.

Practically simultaneously Ventana Research published their 2021 Vendor and Product Assessment for Product Information Management (PIM).

The two vendor rankings are here:

The methodology and lingo differ a bit, however the ranking is, as with all these kinds of analyst rankings, based on that the vendors are assessed more positive the closer they are to the top right corner.

The two analyst firms are in more or less agreement about some vendors while some vendors are assessed quite different. These are in particular:

  • Informatica, who is assessed much more negative by Forrester than by Ventana. It is a part of the story that Informatica for a long time has declined to participate in Forrester’s PIM assessments.
  • Akeneo, who is a new vendor among the major players, and has a better debut at Ventana than at Forrester.
  • Stibo Systems, who has been a leader at Forrester for some years but has moved down to a modest position at Ventana in the latest ranking.

Looking at assessing the vendors against the others is close to me as part of the Select Your Solution service on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List. Here the assessment is based on the actual context, scope and requirements for you as a potential buyer (or someone who is helping a potential buyer). When doing that it is natural that a given vendor can be closest to the top right corner in some cases and not in other cases.

That analysts in a generic ranking reaches a different result only underpins that solution selection is not easy and requires a substantial knowledge about the available solutions, where they come from and where they are heading.

If you need help navigating in this jungle, ping me here:

Forrester PIM Wave Q2 2021

The Forrester Wave™ Product Information Management Q2 2021 is out.

In here, Forrester has identified the in their eyes 10 most significant solutions — Akeneo, Contentserv, IBM, Informatica, inRiver, Riversand, Salsify, Stibo Systems, Syndigo, and Winshuttle — and researched, analyzed, and scored them.

The previous PIM wave from 2018 was examined here on the blog in the post There is no PIM quadrant, but there is a PIM wave.

Here is the new one and the old one:

So, what is status quo and what has changed?

Status Quo

Stibo Systems is still close to the right top corner and thereby cementing their role as a leader in PIM.

Informatica still has a dysfunctional relationship with Forrester and has not participated in this report either. This has not helped with their positioning in the ranking.

IBM is still in the lower rankings.

Changed

Salsify has moved up and grown.

Riversand has moved up and grown a bit – and has been accompanied by Syndigo who by the way just bought them today.

Enterworks, now as part of Winshuttle, has moved down – but grown.

Contentserv has moved down and shrunk. So has inRiver.

Akeneo has entered the PIM wave.

SAP and Agility Multichannel (now part of Magnitude) has been dropped from this report.

Missing

Compared to Gartner, who only has a Master Data Management (MDM) Quadrant, Via Medici is a major MDM/PIM player missing in this report.

Big Data vs Small and Wide Data under a Master Data Lens

One of the 10 trends in data and analytics in 2021 identified by Gartner, the analyst firm, is a shift from big data to small and wide data.

A press release from yesterday elaborates on this topic outside the paywall. Here Gartner Says 70% of Organizations Will Shift Their Focus from Big to Small and Wide Data By 2025.

As said in there: “Potential areas where small and wide data can be used are demand forecasting in retail, real-time behavioural and emotional intelligence in customer service applied to hyper-personalization, and customer experience improvement.”

This is a topic close to me and something I wrote about, still using the term big data, last year in a Reltio whitepaper as mentioned in the post How to Use Connected Master Data to Enable New Revenue Models.

Small data is in my eyes very much equivalent to master data besides the meaning promoted by Gartner, which is approaches involving “certain time-series analysis techniques or few-shot learning, synthetic data, or self-supervised learning”.

The concrete wide data to be used and connected in the retail scenario is customer data and product data. There is a current trend of mastering wide customer data in a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Wide product data are best handled in a Product Information Management (PIM) platform with a collaborative Product Data Syndication (PDS) add-on.  

In the quest of providing hyper-personalization, you need to connect well identified customer data with product information elements aimed for customization and personalization by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) methodologies.

So, is the term “small and wide data” better than “big data”?

I think it, besides the narrow analytic purpose forwarded by Gartner, can help unlocking the opportunities in master data underpinned big data that have existed the past decade but that have- by far – not been utilized as much as it could.   

The Intersection of Supplier MDM and Customer MDM

When blueprinting a Master Data Management (MDM) solution one aspect is if – or in what degree – you should combine supplier MDM and customer MDM. This has been a recurring topic on this blog as for example in the post How Bosch is Aiming for Unified Partner Master Data Management.

In theory, you should combine the concept for these two master domains in some degree. The reasons are:

  • There is always an overlap of the real-world entities that has both a customer and a supplier role to your organization. The overlap is often bigger than you think not at least if you include the overlap of company family trees that have members in one of these roles.
  • The basic master data for these master data domains are the same: Identification numbers, names, addresses, means of communication and more.
  • The third-party enrichment opportunities are the same. The most predominant possibilities are integration with business directories (as Dun & Bradstreet and national registries) and address validation (as Loqate and national postal services).

In practice, the problem is that the business case for customer MDM and supplier MDM may not be realized at the same time. So, one domain will typically be implemented before the other depending on your organization’s business model.

Solution Considerations

Most MDM solutions must coexist with an – or several – ERP solutions. All popular enterprise grade ERP solutions have adapted the business partner view with a common data model for basic supplier and customer data. This is the case with SAP S/4HANA and for example the address book in Microsoft Dynamics AX and Oracle JD Edwards.

MDM solutions themselves does also provide for a common structure. If you model one domain before the other, it is imperative that you consider all business partner roles in that model.

Data Governance Considerations

A data governance framework may typically be rolled out one master data domain at the time or in parallel. It is here essential that the data policies, data standards and business glossary for basic customer master data and basic supplier master data is coordinated.

Business Case Considerations

The business case for customer MDM will be stronger if the joint advantages with supplier MDM is incorporated – and vice versa.

This includes improvement in customer/supplier engagement and the derived supply/value chain effectiveness, cost sharing of third-party data enrichment service expenses and shared gains in risk assessment.  

Product Model vs Product Instance

When working with the product domain in Master Data Management (MDM) and with Product Information Management (PIM) we have traditionally been working with the product model meaning that we manage data about how a product that can be produced many times in exactly the same way and resulting in having exactly the same features. In other words, we are creating a digital twin of the product model.

As told in the post Spectre vs James Bond and the Unique Product Identifier the next level in product data management is working with each product instance meaning each produced thing that have a set of data attached that is unique to that thing. Such data can be:

  • Serial number or other identification as for example the Unique Device Identification (UDI) known in healthcare
  • Manufacturing date and time
  • Specific configuration
  • Current and historical position
  • Current and historical owner
  • Current and historical installer, maintainer and other caretaker
  • Produced sensor data if it is a smart device

There is a substantial business potential in being better than your competitor in managing product instances. This boils down to that data is power – if you use the data.

When managing this data, we are building a digital twin of the product instance.

Maintaining that digital twin is a collaborative effort involving the manufacturer, the logistic service provider, the owner, the caretaker, and other roles. For that you need some degree of Interenterprise MDM.

Precisely Nabs Another Old One

The major data quality tool vendor Precisely announced yesterday that they are to acquire Infogix.

Infogix is a four-decade old provider of solutions for data quality and adjacent disciplines as data governance, data catalog and data analytics.

Precisely was recently renamed from Syncsort. Under this brand they nabbed Pitney Bowes software two years ago as told in the post Syncsort Nabs Pitney Bowes Software Solutions. Back in time Pitney Bows nabbed veteran data quality solution provider Group1.

Before being Syncsort their data quality software solution was known as Trillium. This solution also goes a long way back.

So, it is worth noticing that the M&A activity revolves around data quality software that was born in the previous millennium.

As told in the post Opportunities on The Data Quality Tool Market, this market is conservative.