If a country list is that hard, MDM is really hard

A twitter post directing to an article with the title Make the Right Choice Using the Right Criteria: A Checklist for Exploring MDM Solutions and Capabilities made me curious and got my click.

However, before reading too much I was prompted with an inescapable form asking for my details in a master data sharing tone.

Well, then I could as well explore the mandatory country list. No surprise. A master (or reference) data havoc. Two Bosnia (and) Herzegovina entries. Two Brunei entries. Two Brazil entries. Two Burma / Myanmar entries.

Country List Havoc by Stibo Systems

MDM Spending Might be 5 Billion USD per Year

The latest Master Data Management Landscape report from Information Difference was covered in the post Movements in the MDM Vendor Landscape 2019.

Apart from positioning some of the tool vendors on a chart, the report also estimates the size of the MDM market. Information difference estimates that the software vendors make 1.6 B USD per year. Hereof are pure license sales 885 M USD, maintenance fees are 273 M USD per year and professional services counts for 450 M USD per year.

In addition, the report says: “Our research shows that on average the people costs of a MDM project are four times that of the software license cost, so there is clearly a large and separate consultancy market associated with MDM”.

So, the additional spending might be in the area of 3.5 B USD (depending on how you calculate and if that multiplier is right). These costs go to system integrators, freelance MDM consultants and internal staff. From my experience internal staff are sparsely represented in MDM implementations, so yes, there is a large consultancy market within MDM.

The total 5 Billion USD spend by end user organizations yearly on MDM then look like this:

MDM Spending 2019
MDM Yearly Spending. Source: Information Difference

The good question that follows will of course be on the size and distribution of the business benefits achieved.

Movements in the MDM Vendor Landscape 2019

The MDM Vendor Landscape 2019 from Information Difference is out. You can compare to the landscape from a year ago when looking at the MDM Vendor Landscape 2018.

Some vendors from last year as Contentserv and Semarchy is missing this year. This is in my thinking not because they have left the marked or have become irrelevant. I will guess it is about unwillingness to contribute to the research at too many market researchers.

Profisee is added which is in line with an increased Master Data Management market exposure from the folks at Profisee.

At the recurring vendors there is little movement except that Viamedici has moved a bit up on the technology axis and Informatica (perhaps surprisingly) has fallen a bit on that axis.

Orchestra Networks is now named Ticbo following the take over since last landscape.

The plot is here:

MDM Landscape Q2 2019

PS: Many of the vendors in the list this year and last year – and some more – are presented in depth on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List.

PPS: If you represent a vendor not on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List, you can register here.

The Soft Sides of MDM and PIM RFPs

Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) solutions are, as many other enabling technologies, often purchased using a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

In such a process the theory is that the buying organization, often with the help from an external consultancy, states the functional and non-functional requirements, measure the solutions against these requirements using a weighted score model and then objectively selects the solution with the highest score.

In practice there are in my experience some more subjective and soft sides to this process. This is not at least the case in the longlist/shortlist phase and when taking the final decision. I have seen my share of overruling the scoring.

One aspect is the geographical presence of the vendor. This includes where the solution provider is based and of course also the presence around the world through local offices and partner network as told in the post Mapping MDM and PIM Solutions.

Another aspect is the subject matter expertise shown by the vendor. This includes written material provided but also available on website and blogs and of course during presentations. An example could be the emphasis on master data versus product information as exemplified in the post MDM, PIM or Both.

I have had the fortunate opportunity of being at both sides of the table during the years and are still doing that as shown in the article about Popular Offerings.


Mapping MDM and PIM Solutions

There are several parameters considered by organizations on the look for solutions that handles Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) or both. One is how MDM’ish or PIM’ish the solution is as examined in the post MDM, PIM or Both.

Another aspect is the geographical presence. This includes where the solution provider is based and of course also the presence around the world through local offices and partner network.

Here are some of the solution providers from North America and Europe on a map:

MDM World Map

Reltio is a Silicon Valley based MDM provider. Learn more about Reltio Cloud here.

Semarchy has moved their head quarter to Silicon Valley but has their origin and most of the operation still in Lyon, France. Learn more about Semarchy xDM here.

Riversand is coming out of Houston, Texas. Learn more about Riversand here.

EnterWorks is based in Sterling, Virginia. Learn about Enterworks here.

CONTENTSERV is head quartered in Baar, Switzerland. Learn more about CONTENTSERV here.

SyncForce is located in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Learn about SyncForce here.

Dynamicweb PIM is from Aarhus, Denmark. Learn more about Dynamicweb PIM here.

Informatica is another Silicon Valley firm. Informatica has bought firms from around the world as lately Toronto, Canada based AllSight, now branded as Informatica Customer 360 Insights. Learn more about Informatica Customer 360 Insights here.

Magnitude and Agility® are now married. They are respectively located in Austin, Texas and York, UK. Learn more about Magnitude MDM here and learn more about Agility here.

Where is your (preferred) MDM / PIM solution located? – and what is the world reach?

MDM, PIM, CX and User Types

Customer Experience (CX) is a trendy driver for Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM).

When talking about CX we may have to distinguish between 3 main kind of user types:

  • Consumers (in households)
  • Small Office, Home Office (SOHO) users
  • Corporate users

CX user types

The critical differences between pleasing consumers in B2C and pleasing business users in B2B was discussed in the post B2C vs B2B in Product Information Management. A crucial distinction is the use of data as told in the post Where to Buy a Magic Wand?

Business users can be divided into those in small self-owned business’s as craftsmen, farmers, small shop owners, freelance consultants and many more and then corporate users who buys on behalf of a legal entity typically within a team of users.

There are intersections of customer experience preference patterns between these groups and then we are all humans regardless of our role in time. Earlier this year I presented a webinar, hosted by Riversand, on this topic. Find the link and the introduction in the post The relation between CX and MDM.

IoT and Business Ecosystem Wide MDM

Two of the disruptive trends in Master Data Management (MDM) are the intersection of Internet of Things (IoT) and MDM and business ecosystem wide MDM (aka multienterprise MDM).

These two trends will go hand in hand.

IoT and Ecosystem Wide MDM

The latest MDM market report from Forrester (the other analyst firm) was mentioned in the post Toward the Third Generation of MDM.

In here Forrester says: “As first-generation MDM technologies become outdated and less effective, improved second generation and third-generation features will dictate which providers lead the pack. Vendors that can provide internet-of-things (IoT) capabilities, ecosystem capabilities, and data context position themselves to successfully deliver added business value to their customers.”

This saying is close to me in my current job as co-founder and CTO at Product Data Lake as told in the post Adding Things to Product Data Lake.

In business ecosystem wide MDM business partners collaborate around master data. This is a prerequisite for handling asset master data involved in IoT as there are many parties involved included manufacturers of smart devices, operators of these devices, maintainers of the devices, owners of the devices and the data subjects these devices gather data about.

In the same way forward looking solution providers involved with MDM must collaborate as pondered in the post Linked Product Data Quality.

The Future of Disruptive MDM is in the Cloud

Two recent posts on the Gartner blog is about databases in the cloud. The Future of Database Management Systems Is Cloud by Merv Adrian ponders why cloud is now the default platform for managing data and The Future of Database Management Systems Is Cloud by Donald Feinberg does the same. Well, the two posts are identical.

This will also mean that the default platform for Master Data Management (MDM) will be in the cloud. Add to that, that the other disruptive MDM trends also will work best in the cloud.

Disruptive MDM in the Cloud

  • We increasingly see Extended MDM Platforms that also handles reference data and big data. Both these data types are predominantly external in nature and therefore they are better collected, or even better connected, in the cloud.
  • Services for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Master Data Management (MDM) is delivered by vendors as cloud solutions.
  • Encompassing IoT and MDM means collaboration between many parties and this is, with all the relationships to take care of, only possible with cloud platforms.
  • We will see several other use cases for business ecosystem wide cross company sharing of master data in what Gartner coins as Multienterprise MDM.

MDM Trend: Data as a Service

A recent post on this blog was called Five Disruptive MDM Trends. One of the trends mentioned herein is MDM in the cloud and one form of Master Data Management in the cloud in the picture is Data as a Service (DaaS).

DaaS within MDM

Using Data as a Service in the cloud within MDM solutions is a great way of ensuring data quality. You have access to real-time validation and enrichment of master data and you can also use third party and second party services in the on-boarding processes and then avoid typing in data with the unavoidable human errors that else is the most common root cause of data quality issues.

Some of the most common data services useful in MDM are:

Address Verification and Geocoding

When handling location data having a valid and standardized description of postal addresses and in many cases also a code that tells about the geographic position is crucial in MDM.

Postal address verification can either be exploited by a global service such as Loqate from GB Group or AddressDoctor, which is part of the Informatica offering. Alternatively, you can use national services that are better (but also narrowly) aligned with a given address format within a country and the specific extra services available in some countries.

Geocodes can either by latitude and longitude or flat map friendly geocoding systems such as UTM coordinates or WGS84 coordinates.

Business Directory Services

When handling party master data as B2B customers, suppliers and other business partners in is useful to validate and enrich the data with third party reference data and in some cases even onboard through these sources.

Again, there are global and local options. The most commonly used global is Dun & Bradstreet, who operates a database called WorldBase that holds business entities from all over the world in a uniform format and also provides data about the company family trees on a global basis. Alternatively, many countries have a national service provided by each government with formats and data elements specific to that country.

Citizen Directory Services

When handling party master data as B2C customers, employees and other personal data the third-party possibilities are sparser in general, naturally because of privacy concerns.

In Scandinavia, where I live, these data are available from public sources based on either our national ID or a correct name and address.

Data pools and Product Data Lake

When handling product master data and product information there are for some product groups and product attributes in some geographies data pools available. The most commonly used global service is GDSN from GS1.

Alternatively (or supplementary), for all other product groups, product attributes and digital assets and in all other geographies, you can use a service like the one I am working with and is called Product Data Lake.