Data Governance, Data Quality and MDM

The data governance discipline, the data quality discipline and the Master Data Management (MDM) discipline are closely related and happens to be my fields of work.

Data quality improvement is important within data governance and MDM. Furthermore you seldom see an MDM implementation without a (master) data governance work stream today.

Information Ven

Over time it has often been suggested that data quality should rightfully be named information quality as told in the post New Blog Name. In addition, data governance could be referred to as information governance as suggested in the Mike2 Open Methodology here.

Within MDM we have the term Product Information Management (PIM) which is partly,  but maybe not fully,  the same as Product MDM,  as examined by Monica McDonnell of Informatica in the post PIM is Not Product MDM – Product MDM is not PIM.

Product is one of several domains within MDM, where customer (or rather party), location and asset are other domains going into multi-domain MDM as reported in the post Multi-Entity MDM vs Multidomain MDM.

While replacing the term data with the term information for data quality, data governance and for that matter (multi-domain) master data management has had limited success outside academic circles, I do see it very suitable for being part of a term covering these three disciplines as a whole.

So what should these three disciplines be called as a whole? Have you noticed any good terms or smart hypes out there? Or are they just three out of more disciplines within data or information management?

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13 thoughts on “Data Governance, Data Quality and MDM

  1. kadhirvelu 14th October 2014 / 10:55

    Yes. I agree with you. All these three go together. ….

  2. Dennis Moore 14th October 2014 / 14:08

    Henrik – FWIW, I’ve been using Information Quality. In a sense, MDM is just DQ for master data. Just some food for thought – thanks!

  3. Richard Branch 14th October 2014 / 14:36

    Thought provoking as usual Henrik and I don’t have the answer to your particular question but if pushed I would say that DQ, DG & MDM all come under the umbrella term of Information Management.

    To expand on your Venn diagram I would comment that while more companies are implementing a data governance stream it is by no means essential to have a DG policy in place in order to implement MDM. Of course it’s desirable to be positioned at the intersection of your chart but this may not always happen and I have often seen companies successfully managing their information with a combination of DQ and MDM or MDM & DG i.e. the complement of one or other of the three disciplines you talk of.

    Perhaps the answer to your question lies at the heart of your diagram and once a company is positioned there they have achieved true Information Management?

    • Magnus Wernersson 15th October 2014 / 08:26

      In my opinion the term Information Management might be seen as even broader since it also covers areas like Content Management and Document Management.
      Couldn’t MDM, DQ and DG all be grouped into Data Management?

      • Richard Branch 15th October 2014 / 12:37

        Indeed Magnus you are probably correct it’s a wide ranging field. I was work on the basis that DQ/MDM/DG turns data into information.

  4. Jean-Michel Franco 14th October 2014 / 15:36

    Good post, Henrik.
    Interestingly we are also seeing the rise of a new role in the enterprise, the so called Chief Data Officer whose role as defined in Wikipedia is to be “responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as an asset”. The irony is CDO happens to be a new role, one that hasn’t been covered by the Chief Information Officer.

    So may be trying to elevate things at a higher level, or trying to regroup disciplines into one – even if academic circle see them as very close – makes it too fuzzy or vague for some audience ?
    Or may be Data should be the word in the middle of your schema , even if that seems very odd for us as “experts” (after all, the “D” from CDO relates to an even wider scope that shown in your schema)

  5. Gauthier Vasseur 15th October 2014 / 04:19

    Hi Henrik, I always enjoy your articles. We would need someone like you at my data classes at Stanford. Any chance we could have you as a guest speaker over winter 2015? Come get some California sun and data.

  6. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th October 2014 / 07:31

    Thanks guys for kind words and adding in.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th October 2014 / 15:14

      Alan, agreed, grows very complex when embracing everything information management. So I’m for now following what Einstein didn’t say: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

  7. Martin Doyle 15th October 2014 / 13:05

    Hi Henrik, good points as ever. I’m with Richard Branch above.

    I think we need to go back to being very clear about the difference between data and information. In your Venn Diagram, all three aspects DQ/MDM/DG are data specific and through better date deliver better information in order that businesses can make better decisions.

    Just because in every day business language people unwittingly interchange the terms data and information does not make it right! I believe data professionals, would fight for the correct definition of terms in any Taxonomy, should fight for data and information to be clearly understood as quite different?

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th October 2014 / 16:25

      Thanks for sharing Martin. Then we are also clear about why it is called data quality software 🙂

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