In a recent comment here on this blog the relevance of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions was questioned because in real business life different business units sees master data very differently though the data describes the same real world entity. And it’s not the first time I hear this argument.
The issue is similar to the Greenland problem in geography. When using the most common projection for visualizing a round earth on a flat map, the Mercator projection, Greenland has a true shape but will look as being of same size as Africa, though Africa is over 10 times as large as Greenland.
As examined in the post Sharing data is key to a single version of the truth this is similar to the problems in fulfilling multiple uses embracing all business units in an enterprise:
- If a map shows a limited part of the world the difference doesn’t matter that much. This is similar to fitting the purpose of use in a single business unit.
- If the map shows the whole world we may have all kind of different projections offering different kind of views on the world having some advantages and disadvantages like when we do enterprise MDM.
Today we have new technology coming to the rescue. If you go into Google Earth the world indeed looks round and you may have any high altitude view of an apparently round world. If you go closer the map tends to be more and more flat.
My guess is that the solutions to fit the multiple uses conundrum within MDM also will be offered from the cloud by having innovative solutions reflecting the real world entities and relate those to a variety of business functions used in different business units offering a range of views that supports multiple purposes of use.