When we talk about multi-domain Master Data Management (MDM) we usually recognize party (customer, supplier, employee) and product as the most predominant domains. The location domain is also widely understood as a separate domain. Further we can discus about assets as done in the post Where is the Asset.
Then there is the Calendar domain. In many industries calendar may just be seen as configuration data. However, in some industries calendar is a true master data domain.
One example is in postal services as mentioned in the post The Path to Multi-Domain MDM.
Another example is public transit, an industry I have worked with in the last 16 years. Managing calendar data has many challenges in running a business or authority in public transit. Some tricky points are:
- Keeping track of day types where different partners sees the week and public holidays differently, not at least when crossing borders.
- Changing the day not necessarily at midnight, but at various times.
- Assigning and monitoring services to a schedule under these circumstances.
In public transit managing calendar data has the same issues as the other more common master data domains, as calendar data may be represented differently in applications across the IT landscape stretching from back-office systems to mobile devices on-board vehicles, as examined in the post Going in the Wrong Direction.
Henrik – another great blog and I’m almost certain that it will rattle the cages of MDM practioners (well, at least the ones that are stuck in the mud) and traditionalists of all stripes.
I went down a similar path when I was modelling content against relational databases and came to the conclusion that there are nineteen master domains of information, all with similar issues, characteristics and behaviours.
Well done, sir – and thank you for thinking outside the ordinary.
Thanks for the kind words John. Yep, there are more domains out there depending on the way you do business and how well you have implemented technology support for that.
Calendar is a critical domain in many industries – as a simple example consider the complexities of multinational trading. Market may open and close at different times, recognise different public holidays ettc etc. Any organisation dealing with multi-national trades must manage multiple calendars
Indeed Gary. I think organizations in different industries will see calendar data as either configuration data, reference data (something defined externally) and master data (something value added internally) depending on how intense you use calendar data.
In India, we have many public Holidays due to various festivals and definitely calendar would be a critical domain in various industries. This would be helping industries for identifying the trends and thus leading to better sales, offers,peak season and inventory management…
But I would prefer to call it as Time Dimension. Also for Financial reporting, calender year is not followed in most of geographies..ex. In India, Financial year is April to March. Thus Calendar/Time dimension plays a critical role…