Master Data Management (MDM) is relatively new discipline. The future will prove what is was, but standing here in mid-2018 I see that we already had 2 ages and are now slowly proceeding into a 3rd age. These ages can be coined as:
Middle MDM and
In these dark ages the term Master Data Management may have been used, but there were not any established discipline, methodologies, frameworks and technology solutions around that truly could count as MDM.
We had Customer Data Integration (CDI) around, we had Product Information Management (PIM) in the making and some of us were talking Data Quality Management – and that in practice being namely deduplication / data matching.
During this age many MDM solutions slowly but steadily have developed into multi-domain MDM solutions as reported over at the Disruptive MDM List in the blog post called 4 Vendor Paths to Multidomain MDM covering the road travelled by 10 vendors on the MDM market.
Most MDM solutions in the Middle MDM Age have been deployed on-premise
We are now cruising into the High MDM Age. First and foremost a lot more organizations are now implementing MDM. Many new deployments are cloud based. New ways are tried out like encompassing more than master data in the same platform.
The jury is of course still out about what will be some main trends of the High MDM Age. My money is placed on what Gartner, the analyst firm, calls Multienterprise MDM as elaborated in the post Ecosystem Wide MDM.
The concept of doing Master Data Management (MDM) not only enterprise wide but ecosystem wide was examined in the post Ecosystem Wide MDM.
As mentioned, product master data is an obvious domain where business outcomes may occur first when stretching your digital transformation to encompass business ecosystems.
The figure below shows the core delegates in the ecosystem wide Product Information Management (PIM) landscape we support at Product Data Lake:
Your enterprise is in the centre. You may have or need an in-house PIM solution where you manipulate and make product information more competitive as elaborated in the post Using Internal and External Product Information to Win.
At Product Data Lake we collaborate with providers of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and similar technologies in order to improve data quality and analyse product information.
As shown in the top, there may be a relevant data pool with a consensus structure for your industry available, where you exchange some of product information with trading partners. At Product Data Lake we embrace that scenario with our reservoir concept.
Else, you will need to make partnerships with individual trading partners. At Product Data Lake we make that happen with a win-win approach. This means, that providers can push their product information in a uniform way with the structure and with the taxonomy they have. Receivers can pull the product information in a uniform way with the structure and with the taxonomy they have. This product data syndication concept is outlined in the post Sell more. Reduce costs.
In my eyes interenterprise data sharing is closely related to how you can achieve business benefits from taking part in the ecosystem flavor of a digital business platform. Some of the data types where we will see such business ecosystem platform flourish will be around sharing product model master data and data about and coming from things related to the Internet of Things (IoT) theme. This is further explained in the blog page about Master Data Share.
Doing Master Data Management (MDM) enterprise wide is hard enough. The ability to control master data across your organization is essential to enable digitalization initiatives and ensure the competitiveness of your organization in the future.
But it does not stop there. Increasingly every organization will be an integrated part of a business ecosystem where collaboration with business partners will be a part of digitalization and thus we will have a need for working on the same foundation around master data.
The different master data domains will have different roles to play in such endeavors. Party master will be shared in some degree but there are both competitive factors, data protection and privacy factors to be observed as well. However, privacy regulations as GDPR article 20 on data portability will make data sharing a must too.
Product master data – or product information if you like – is an obvious master data domain where you can gain business benefits from extending master data management to be ecosystem wide. This includes:
Working with the same product classifications or being able to continuously map between different classifications used by trading partners
Utilizing the same attribute definitions (metadata around products) or being able to continuously map between different attribute taxonomies in use by trading partners
Sharing data on product relationships (available accessories, relevant spare parts, updated succession for products, cross-sell information and up-sell opportunities)
Having access to latest versions of digital assets (text, audio, video) associated with products
The concept of ecosystem wide Multi-Domain MDM is explored further is the article about Master Data Share.
(PS: Ecosystem wide MDM is coined by Gartner, the analyst firm, as multienterprise MDM).