How do we go from single-domain master data management to multi-domain master data management? Will it be through evolution of single-domain solutions or will it require a complete new intelligent design?
The MDM journey
My previous blog post was a book review of “Master Data Management in Practice” by Dalton Servo and Mark Allen – or the full title of the book is in fact “Master Data Management in Practice: Achieving True Customer MDM”.
The customer domain has until now been the most frequent and proven domain for master data management and as said in the book, the domain where most organizations starts the MDM journey in particular by doing what is usually called Customer Data Integration (CDI).
However some organizations do start with Product Information Management (PIM). This is mainly due to the magic numbers being the fact that some organizations have a higher number of products than customers in the database.
Sooner or later most organizations will continue the MDM journey by embracing more domains.
John Owens made a blog post yesterday called “Data Quality: Dead Crows Kill Customers! Dead Crows also Kill Suppliers!” The post explains how some data structures are similar between sales and purchasing. For example a customer and a supplier are very similar as a party.
Customer Data Integration (CDI) has a central entity being the customer, which is a party. Product Information Management (PIM) has an important entity being a supplier, which is a party. The data structures and the workflows needed to Create, Read, Update and perhaps Delete these entities are very similar, not at least in business-to-business (B2B) environments.
So, when you are going from PIM to CDI, you don’t have to start from scratch, not at least in a B2B environment.
The trend in the master data management technology market is that many vendors are working their way from being a single domain vendor to being a multi-domain vendor – and some are promoting their new intelligent design embracing all domains from day one.
Some other vendors are breeding several platforms (often based on acquisition) from different domains into one brand, and some vendors are developing from a single domain into new domains.
Each strategy has its pros and cons. It seems there will be plenty of philosophies to choose from when organizations are going the select the platform(s) to support the multi-domain MDM journey.