A recent blog post called Top 14 Master Data Management Misconceptions by William McKnight has as the last misconception this one:
“14. Third-party data is inappropriate for MDM
Third-party data is largely about extending the profile of important subject areas, which are mastered in MDM. Taking third-party data into organizations has actually kicked off many MDM programs.”
Indeed, using third-party data, which also could be called big external reference data, is in my eyes a very good solution for a lot of use cases. Some of the most popular exploitations today are:
- Using a business directory as big reference data for B2B party master data in customer data integration (CDI) and supplier master data management.
- Using address directories as big reference data for location master data management also related to party master data management for B2C customer data.
- Using product data directories such as the Global data Synchronization Network (GDSN®) services, the UNSPSC® directory and heaps of industry specific product directories.
The next wave of exploiting external data, which is just kicking off as Social MDM, is digging into social media for sharing data, including:
- Using professional social networks as LinkedIn in B2B environments where you often find the most timely reference data not at least about contact data related to your business partners’ accounts.
- Using consumer oriented social networks as Facebook for getting to know your B2C customers better.
- Using social collaboration as a way to achieve better product master data as told in the post Social PIM.
But External or Social Data is just another data source, right?