The term Application Data Management (ADM) has recently been circulating in the Master Data Management (MDM) world as touched in The Disruptive MDM List blog post MDM Fact or Fiction: Who Knows?

Not at least Gartner, the analyst firm, has touted this as one of two Disruptive Forces in MDM Land. However, Gartner is not always your friend when it comes to short, crisp and easy digestible definitions and explanations of the terms they promote.

In my mind the two terms MDM and ADM relates as seen below:


So, ADM takes care of a lot of data that we do not usually consider being master data within a given application while MDM takes care of master data across multiple applications.

The big question is how we handle the intersection (and sum of intersections in the IT landscape) when it comes to applying technology.

If you have an IT landscape with a dominant application like for example SAP ECC you are tempted to handle the master data within that application as your master data hub or using a vendor provided tightly integrated tool as for example SAP MDG. For specific master data domains, you might for example regard your CRM application as your customer master data hub. Here MDM and ADM melts into one process and technology platform.

If you have an IT landscape with multiple applications, you should consider implementing a specific MDM platform that receives master data from and provides master data to applications that takes care of all the other data used for specific business objectives. Here MDM and ADM will be in separated processes using best-of-breed technology.

4 thoughts on “MDM vs ADM

  1. Michael H (@mphnyc) 11th April 2018 / 22:02

    Well spotted, Henrik! Trust you to be up on the latest. At Semarchy, we have been focused on ADM for some time — I wrote about it in some of our recent blogs, mostly since #GartnerDA in the US and UK.

    We’ve been addressing the shared application data from multiple source systems for some time with xDM. While we have always covered all of the MDM capabilities, the governance, data quality, enrichment and workflow components in our platform have always attracted clients who have used our Intelligent Data Hub to manage both master and non-master data.

    We see ADM as very interesting and have been working with partners on both sides of the Atlantic, who are building application models on top of xDM to help their clients, based on their own industry/sector or regional domain expertise. It’s contributed a lot to our recent growth 🙂

    Thanks for staying on top of the trends!

    • Henrik Liliendahl 12th April 2018 / 05:55

      Thanks for adding in Michael. This is an interesting way of being disruptive in the MDM world.

  2. Shiva Prasad 12th April 2018 / 12:36

    Dear Henrik,
    A couple of years ago, I did a major Product messaging exercise for a company that had invested more than 15+ years of effort in building what Gartner started calling the ADM space, distinct from MDM solutions/platforms.
    In their case, in response to customer pains with lack of trusted master data to run their ERP systems profitably (thus, causing huge delays in the production roll out of ERP projects), this company has built simple yet robust tools (with Excel-like simplicity) and frameworks that made creating product/item/BOM/Routing master data very easy for business users that was pushed into the ERP at the touch of a button and was then ready-for-use in the core Oracle ERP application (E-business suite) for all their business transactions – at the same time, ensuring that the created master data conformed to user-defined levels of data quality on dimensions such as Timeliness, Reliability, Accuracy and Completeness!

    Please find a link to one of their white papers.

    Emboldened by the success to their Product master data modeling framework (their ADM), they are now extending the use of the same underlying framework to also promote Customer master data management within their existing customer base….the framework essentially being a data domain-agnostic toolkit of sorts!

    There are a lot more resources on their website about their belief in why the industry needed a solution like ADM, and not just MDM.

    PS. I am not their employee :), just a freelance consultant in the Information Management space.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 12th April 2018 / 20:00

      Thanks a lot for sharing Shiva.

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