Real World Alignment and Continental Drift

You can find many great analogies for working with data quality and Master Data Management (MDM) in world maps. One example is reported in the post The Greenland Problem in MDM, which is about how different business units have a different look on the same real world entity.

Real world alignment isn’t of course without challenges. Also because the real world changes as reported on Daily Mail in an article about how modern countries would be placed on the landmasses as they were 300 million years ago.

World 300 M years ago

The image above may very well show how many master data repositories today reflect the real world. Yep, we may have the country list covered well enough. We may even do quite well if we look at each geographical unit independently. However, the big picture doesn’t fit the world as it is today.

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3 thoughts on “Real World Alignment and Continental Drift

  1. Gino Fortunato 3rd June 2013 / 05:20

    this analogy works very well. To push it a bit farther, what was really going on with the rest of the planet? Was there really no other land? Or is it perhaps that we can’t “see” it any more? Your organization may have pretty good visibility to the parts of the planet/customer base that it knows about (even if different parts of the org see it differently), but almost all practitioners know that there is a lot more information out there. The question is: Is the information valuable enough to spend resources collecting, organizing and managing it?

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 3rd June 2013 / 06:43

      Indeed Gino. Maybe Atlantis and Mu existed, and we for certain know that Doggerland did.

      In the same way organizations may change their world picture on customer master data by for example embracing social network data and rethink their product master data by including social collaboration.

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