Do we need better business decisions about MDM?

In an Information Management article today Aaron Zornes, president of the MDM Institute, writes about that Master Data Management (MDM is) driving better business decisions.

In here Aaron says: “Many of the MDM programs we see are increasingly tactical rather than enterprise in nature. That is, organizations are more likely to fund MDM programs to solve a specific business problem than a wide range of business problems”.

MDMDG 2013 wordleWhile I agree with the observation and have been involved in making exactly such business cases, it stills puzzles me that this is quite a contradiction to the idea behind MDM, which is to consolidate master data across the enterprise.

What do you think? Do tactical MDM implementations cater for better business decisions? Or do we need better business decisions when scoping MDM programs around?

13 thoughts on “Do we need better business decisions about MDM?

  1. Karanpreet Singh 30th June 2017 / 04:52

    tactical solutions are normally short term solutions which helps to run business operations,while enterprise solution are long running business benefit solutions.Unfortunately most of the MDM implementations fails as they do lack the proper MDM strategy.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 30th June 2017 / 05:46

      Thanks for commenting Karanpreet. Indeed, you must have an enterprise wide MDM strategy and then implement in well thought-out tactical manoeuvres that contribute to the overall strategy.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 3rd July 2017 / 11:50

      Thanks for commenting Jean Michel. Indeed, we do need to consider emerging technologies.

    • Jitendra Joshi 6th July 2017 / 08:24

      Absolutely right saying! The growing need of any business community can’t be fulfilled just by using the traditional databases and technologies. Those systems have a limitation from multiple areas and they will stop after that point. The vision of any MDM System should be to provide handle/tool to business and technology teams so they can truly leverage power of MDM in multiple domains. MDM tools really need to be 100% configurable, business and developer friendly so those communities can also contribute towards and leverage from each other’s experience.
      Riversand started brainstorming on challenges like the one mentioned above and the MDM capability set specifically. This research became the basis for the innovation we are now bringing to the market under the aegis of NextGenMDM / MDM2.0 @ http://www.riversand.com/news-events/ .

  2. Achal Patel 3rd July 2017 / 01:40

    Having MDM as part of Enterprise Information Strategy should be the first step in making sure, MDM is considered as a strategic initiative helping business achieve better governance, trusted and reliable data. With this, providing quick wins solving business cases (agile implementation strategy) using MDM helps strengthen the support for the overall initiative and investment.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 3rd July 2017 / 11:48

      Thanks for adding in Achal. Valid points in my eyes.

  3. Florian Michaud 3rd July 2017 / 19:52

    This is the case with Orchestra Networks’ EBX MDM/RDM solution … Most of our Customers have a Quick Win with à tactical domain then extand their usage to other domains as a strategic platform for the Organization.
    This is only possible when you have a True multi-domains solution with a business model which allows it.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 3rd July 2017 / 20:20

      Thanks Florian for joining the discussion. I have been following Orchestra for many years and I am impressed by how this tool have been positioned in the market.

  4. carrie tullos 4th July 2017 / 20:00

    I could give many examples of Global Companies with Enterprise needs being very narrowly focused on solving a domain specific problem within a certain LOB or region.

    This seems to stem from budgeting/chargebacks as well as “political” jurisdiction for the short term narrow project.

    How to avoid this this situation? Not a silver bullet, but its communication and a partnership with a company who can give advice on change management and data governance to the team within the customers organization that will DRIVE the process of mastering data.

    Another KEY point is that there needs to be Executive level understanding from the client organization of the broader issue. Executives need to be able to weigh the pro’s and con’s of these “quick wins” = short term decisions that create longer term problems that further muddy the waters of true data governance and Master Data Management.

    There are many “cool” point applications that help accelerate these quick wins and they are certainly important to have as a option, but many times, I feel like it clouds the success criteria that clients should be really measuring as they select the FOUNDATION for the data governance and data mastering process.

    The key criteria to judge the strength and robustness of MDM tool boils down to 4 areas in my opinion; Master multiple domains, application agnostic, coupled with a strong data quality & identity management engine, workflow tool and ease of integration.

    The secret “sauce” is the clients ability to gather, govern and USE the data in their ecosystem.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 4th July 2017 / 20:12

      Thanks Carrie for kicking the ball. Agreed, there is no silver bullet and your four points when it comes to MDM tools are certainly classic capabilities that I know you emphasises on at Informatica. When you say ecosystem, I am curious to learn about how you also will embrace capabilities for your clients participating in cross company business ecosystems.

  5. Don Humberson 9th July 2017 / 14:48

    MDM is pricey, takes ‘forever’, and often fails to deliver promised value. I’d bet most if not all of you have heard these and similar statements from your business partners, and more than once. We as architects are at fault here, in at least two major ways: we allow some zealous colleagues to sell an IT focused MDM project as a total solution, and we fail to get the solid, long term commitment to data governance as a business responsibility that must underlay a successful MDM initiative.
    I’m using pretty harsh language here, and I know it. The architectural disciplines are where the strategic visions of a business should be mapped into explicit, tactical movement towards that businesses’ final goals, and all too often instead we just ‘go along to get along’ when some siloed project with a sheen of immediate popularity and a hidden freight of architectural debt is trotted out as the next total solution. IMHO, we as architects are the people who need to be willing to speak up, to be the quiet, calm, but firm voices of dissent when these short-focus patches are proposed, which also means we need to have solid, implementable alternatives in hand when we speak up..
    The tools are secondary – unless and until the executive leadership of the business commits to making the business process changes that support MDM as an ongoing component of a businesses’ data strategy that business will not realize the benefits of an MDM solution. Commitment includes clear understanding of both the standup costs for the chosen MDM initiative and of that initiative’s associated ongoing costs and a willingness to pay those ongoing costs, be they those associated with policy changes, business process changes, or actual IT costs.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 9th July 2017 / 20:56

      Thanks Don for this harsh, but well said, comment.

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