Defining Social MDM

Social MDM2Social Master Data Management (Social MDM) has been a recurring subject on this blog for a couple of years. But what is Social MDM? What do others say it is?

Here is what Techopedia, Gartner and The MDM Institute thinks:

Techopedia has this definition of Social MDM:

Definition – What does Social Master Data Management (Social MDM) mean?

Social master data management (Social MDM) refers to the processes, policies and concepts used to gather and compile social media data sources – like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – into one master file.

Gartner (the analyst firm) hasn’t to my knowledge used the term Social MDM. In 2011 they though said that this will be one of three main trends in MDM:

Increasing Links Between MDM and Social Networks

By 2015, 15 percent of organizations will have added social media data about their customers to the customer master data attributes they manage in their MDM systems….

In 2012, as reported in the post The Big MDM Trend, Gartner, The Hype Cycle firm, changed the point to be about MDM and Big Data.

The MDM Institute has a Field Report from April 2012 where Aaron Zornes (who is the MDM institute) writes:

Social MDM (Cloud-enablement, Architecture & Integration)

During 2012, cloud-enabled MDM will attract small- and mid-sized businesses as a means to engage in MDM without committing to long-term project and major expense….

By 2014-15, cloud-innate services for data quality and Data Governance will be more prevalent than full Social MDM…

So the MDM institute thinks Social MDM is MDM in the cloud.

What do you think?

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10 thoughts on “Defining Social MDM

  1. Gino Fortunato 14th January 2013 / 03:31

    in some ways, this should be simple: Social media should be an additional source to collect information and build out the best value information about the mastered entity. However, it seems that there is a movement afoot to bring the analysis of this content into MDM. This seems to me analysis of transactional data, which is traditionally done with BI. However, social media data is different than standard transactional data because of its unstructured nature.

    To me, sentiment analysis tools should be used to understand the social media content. MDM is then the perfect repository for the results of this analysis.

    • Rusty Alderson 16th January 2013 / 15:14


      Can you cite some sentiment analysis tools? I am not familiar with this functionality provided by a tool.


  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 14th January 2013 / 11:08

    Gino, thanks a lot for commenting. It is truly in my eyes about linking the old systems of record with the new systems of engagement, and social MDM will be the place to make that link. I also agree with you about how MDM also in this future set up will be supporting Business Intelligence or whatever new term we will invent for that trade.

  3. Anil 15th January 2013 / 16:24

    One of the challenges faced during matching/merging Social data with Master Data would be to identify the “dream identity” with “real identity” as well as personal versus work identities created on social sites. A customer of a particular business would have different contact preferences as well as Opt-In Opt Outs versus their work contact preferences. Same would go for their social as well. Sometimes these would meet whereas for some other instances, they would differ. It would be a challenge to run the logic to ensure that Master data is not only accurate but also reflects “today’s preferences” at a fast pace since this data changes very rapidly.

    • Gino Fortunato 15th January 2013 / 18:40

      that’s a great comment Anil, and a potential challenge to marketers. Assuming that the various profiles/identities of a person can really be reconciled back to the same person, then the attribution derived from these identities might in fact be contradictory. A stereotype of this would be the physical loner who transacts one way most of the time, but then has a fb/game identity where they are a superhero and acts/transacts a completely different way in that role. I guess the marketer would care what persona is used when making a purchase?

      • Denis 16th January 2013 / 16:59

        Suddenly this line between “my work account” and “my pleasure account” will become fine and finally will disappear. Especially there will be no reason to separate any person life it two accounts since MDM system can find and link these two one person. As a result we are going to see more open world where you will know almost everything about anybody….

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th January 2013 / 16:42

    Thanks for adding in Anil. These are definitely some of the challenges we are facing in doing Social MDM

  5. David Jaques-Watson 17th January 2013 / 04:20

    @Denis: Hate to disagree: I think “Role” will become increasingly important. You’ll want to ensure that your workplace doesn’t know about all those NSFW (Not Safe For Work!) sites you’ve been visiting, hence the ongoing need for multiple identities/roles. Another example is where you want to coment on a topic as a private citizen, and definitely not been seen as commenting on something as an official representative of your organisation – and vice versa.

    • Denis 17th January 2013 / 14:44

      i should be more specific ) what i mean is that different “roles” that people try to use to hide their real identity will be easily linked to one person using technology and all alter-egos will be exposed.

      • David Jaques-Watson 18th January 2013 / 00:50

        Heh. And that will scare a LOT of people. yet another reason not to put anything on the ‘Net that you wouldn’t want your mother – or potential employers – to see… 😉

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