B2B2C in Data Management

The Business-to-Business-to-Consumer (B2B2C) scenario is increasingly important in Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM).

This scenario is usually seen in manufacturing including pharmaceuticals as examined in the post Six MDMographic Stereotypes.

One challenge here is how to extend the capabilities in MDM / PIM / DQM solutions that are build for Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) use cases. Doing B2B2C requires a Multidomain MDM approach with solid PIM and DQM elements either as one solution, a suite of solutions or as a wisely assembled set of best-of-breed solutions.B2B2C MDM PIM DQMIn the MDM sphere a key challenge with B2B2C is that you probably must encompass more surrounding applications and ensure a 360-degree view of party, location and product entities as they have varying roles with varying purposes at varying times tracked by these applications. You will also need to cover a broader range of data types that goes beyond what is traditionally seen as master data.

In DQM you need data matching capabilities that can identify and compare both real-world persons, organizations and the grey zone of persons in professional roles. You need DQM of a deep hierarchy of location data and you need to profile product data completeness for both professional use cases and consumer use cases.

In PIM the content must be suitable for both the professional audience and the end consumers. The issues in achieving this stretch over having a flexible in-house PIM solution and a comprehensive outbound Product Data Syndication (PDS) setup.

As the middle B in B2B2C supply chains you must have a strategic partnership with your suppliers/vendors with a comprehensive inbound Product Data Syndication (PDS) setup and increasingly also a framework for sharing customer master data taking into account the privacy and confidentiality aspects of this.

This emerging MDM / PIM / DQM scope is also referred to as Multienterprise MDM.

Get Your Free Bespoke MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Ranking

The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List has an interactive service that can help you jumpstart in your tool selection for a Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and/or Data Quality Management (DQM) solution.

MDM PIM DQM Context, Scope and RequirementsThe selection model is based on the context, scope and requirements for your solution.

The context includes the geographical reach and the industry where your organization operates.

The scope includes the number of entities as for example consumers (B2C customers), companies (B2B customers, suppliers and other business partners), products and digital assets as well as the organizational reach.

The requirements are those that differentiate the MDM / PIM / DQM solutions on the market.

MDM PIM DQM Vendor capabilitiesThe solution capabilities considered in the selection process are those of who are:

  • On this Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM Solutions List or
  • Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant or
  • Forrester MDM Wave or Forrester PIM Wave or
  • Information Difference MDM Landscape

MDM PIM DQM AI EngineThese two sets of information are compared in a continuously supervised learning algorithm – also known in marketing as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Filling in the information usually takes less than 15 minutes. You will get your solution list within 1 to 48 hours.

MDM PIM DQM Ranking OutcomeThe outcome is:

  • The best fit solution for a Proof of Concept
  • Two more solutions to be in a shortlist
  • Four more solutions to be in a longlist
  • If fit, a couple of more solutions to be considered as alternatives or supplements

During the half year this service has been online, more than 100 end user organizations or their consultants have received their solution list.

This service is free. No information is shared with anyone unless requested. Are you ready? Start with step 1 here.

MDM / PIM / DQM Resources

Last week The Resource List went live on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List.

The rationale behind the scaling up of this site is explained in the article Preaching Beyond the Choir in the MDM / PIM / DQM Space.

These months are in general a yearly peak for conferences, written content and webinars from solution and service providers in the Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM) space. With the covid-19 crises conferences are postponed and therefore the content providers are now ramping up the online channel.

As one who would like to read, listen to and/or watch relevant content, it is hard to follow the stream of content being pushed from the individual providers every day.

The Resource List on this site is a compilation of white papers, ebooks, reports, podcasts, webinars and other content from potentially all the registered tool vendors and service providers on The Solution List and coming service list. The Resource List is divided into sections of topics. Here you can get a quick overview of the content available within the themes that matters to you right now.

The list of content and topics is growing.

Check out The Resource List here.

MDM PIM DQM resourcesPS: The next feature on the site is planned to be The Case Story List. Stay tuned.

Welcome EnterWorks as a Featured Solution on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List – and to Europe

One of the rising stars on the Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) scene is EnterWorks.

Enterworks Europe LaunchThe EnterWorks solution has during the latest years, as a small crowd of other solutions on the market, grown from being a PIM solution to be a Multi-domain MDM solution. But they have not stopped there. EnterWorks is also a Multi-enterprise MDM solution and is thus covering the needs of sharing master data and product information within business ecosystems. This is, as stated by Gartner, a particularly interesting value proposition in the context of digital ecosystems.

Last year EnterWorks joined forces with WinShuttle, a major player in the data management realm.

This has led to that I, besides welcoming EnterWorks as a featured solution on the list, also is able to welcome EnterWorks to Europe. The European launch should have taken place on The Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in March. However, this event was as all other events at the moment postponed. But the launch is not. Read about the perspectives of this move in the press release on that Winshuttle Announces European Launch of EnterWorks® MDM/PIM Platform.

Scaling Up The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List

The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List was launched in the late 2017.

Here the first innovative Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) tool vendors joined the list with a presentation page showcasing the unique capabilities offered to the market.

The blog was launched at the same time. Since then, a lot of blog posts – including guest blog posts – have been posted. The topics covered have been about the list, the analysts and their market reports as well as the capabilities that are essential in solutions and their implementation.

In 2019 the MDM and PIM tool vendors were joined by some of the forward-looking best-of-breed Data Quality Management (DQM) tool vendors.

The Select Your Solution service was launched at the same time. Here organizations – and their consultants – who are on the look for a MDM / PIM / DQM solution can jumpstart the selection process by getting a list of the best solutions based on their individual context, scope and requirements. More than 100 hundred end user organizations or their consultants have received such a list.

MDMlist timeline

Going into the 20es the list is ready to be scaled up. The new sections being launched are:

  • The Service List: In parallel with the solution providers it is possible for service providers – like implementation partners – to register on The Service List. This list will run besides The Solution List. For an organization on the look for an MDM / PIM / DQM solution it is equally important to select the right solution and the right implementation partner.
  • The Resource List: This is a list – going live soon – with white papers, webinars and other content from potentially all the registered tool vendors and service providers divided into sections of topics. Here end user organizations can get a quick overview of the content available within the themes that matters right now.
  • The Case Study List: The next planned list is a list of case studies from potentially all the registered tool vendors and service providers. The list will be divided into industry sectors. Here end user organizations can get a quick overview of studies from similar organizations.

If you have questions and/or suggestions for valuable online content on the list, make a comment or get in contact here:

Analyst MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Reports Update March 2020

Analyst firms occasionally publish market reports with solution overview for Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM).

The publication schedule from the analyst firms can be unpredictable.

Information Difference is an exception. There have during the years every year been a Data Quality landscape named Q1 and published shortly after that quarter and an MDM landscape named Q2 and published shortly after that quarter. However, these reports are relying on participation from relevant vendors and not all vendors prioritize this scheme.

Forrester is quite unpredictable both with timing and which market segments (MDM, PIM, DQM) to be covered.

Gartner is a bit steadier. However, for example the MDM solution reports have been coming in varying intervals during the latest years.

Here is an overview of the latest major reports:

Stay tuned on this blog to get the latest on analyst reports and news on market movements.

MDM PIM DQM analysts and solutions

Looking for the Right MDM / PIM / DQM Implementation Partner

The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List has been running for a couple of years and is now a list of 15 of some of the most innovative and forward looking solutions on the Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM) market.

The list can be seen as an online MDM / PIM / DQM conference:

The Online MDM PIM DQM Conference

In these times when offline MDM / PIM / DQM conferences are cancelled, I thought it might be useful to uncover if there is an interest among implementation partners in this space to join the list on an adjacent list on the site covering these services, as it besides choosing the right solution is equally important to choose the right implementation partner.

So, if you as an implementation partner are interested, you can register here.

Alternatively, give me a shout here:

How the Covid-19 Outbreak Can Change Data Management

From sitting at home these are my thoughts about how data management can be changed due to the current outbreak of the Covid-19 (Corona) virus and the longer-term behaviour impact after the pandemic hopefully will be over.

Ecommerce Will Grow Faster

Both households and organizations are buying more online and this trend is increasing due to the urge of keeping a distance between humans. The data management discipline that underpins well executed ecommerce is Product Information Management (PIM). We will see more organizations implementing PIM solutions and we must see more effective and less time-consuming ways of implementing PIM solutions.

Data Governance Should Mature Faster

The data governance discipline has until now been quite immature and data governance activities have been characterized by an endless row of offline meetings. As data governance is an imperative in PIM and any other data management quest, we must shape data governance frameworks that are more ready to use, and we must have online learning resources available for both professionals and participating knowledge workers with various roles.

Data Sharing Could Develop Faster

People, organizations and countries initially act in a selfish manner during a crisis, but we must realize that collaboration including data sharing is the only way forward. Hopefully we will see more widespread data sharing enterprise wide as this will ease remote working. Also, we could see increasing interenterprise (business ecosystem wide) data sharing which in particular will ease PIM implementations through automated Product Data Syndication (PDS).

Covid Data Management

5 PIM Core Aspects

A Product Information Management (PIM) solution must encompass some core aspects of handling product data in a digitalized world where products are exchanged online in self-service scenarios. Here are five essential aspects:

Product Identification

PIM idUsually a product is identified uniquely within each organization using a number or a code that follows the product in all the applications that handles product data. But as products are exchanged between trading partners, an external product identifier is essential in many business processes.

The most common external identifier of a product is a GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) which has those three most common formats:

  • 12-digit UPC – Universal Product Code, which is popular in North America
  • 13- digit EAN – European/International Article Number, which is popular in Europe
  • 14-digit GTIN, which is meant to replace among others the two above

We know these numbers from the barcodes on goods in physical shops.

It is worth noticing that a GTIN is applied to each packing level for a product model. So, if we for example have a given model of a magic wand, there could be three GTINs applied:

  • One for a single magic wand
  • One for a box of 25 magic wands
  • One for a pallet of 50 boxes of magic wands

Also, the GTIN is applied to a specific variant of a product model. So, if we have a given model of a pair of trousers, there will be a GTIN for each size and colour variant.

This level of product is also referred to as a SKU – Stock Keeping Unit.

Besides the GTIN (UPC/EAN) system there are plenty of industry and national number and code systems in play.

Product Classification

PIM classThere are many reasons for why you need to classify your range of products. Therefore, there are also many ways of doing so. You can either use an external classification system or your homegrown classification tailored to your organizations view of the world.

Here are five examples of an external standard:

  • UNSPSC (United Nations Standard Products and Services Code) is managed by GS1 US™ for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). This is an open, global, multi-sector standard for classification of products and services. This standard is often used in public tenders and at some marketplaces.
  • GPC (Global Product Classification) is created by GS1 as a separate standard classification within its network synchronization called the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).
  • Harmonized System (HS) codes are commodity codes lately being worldwide harmonized to represent the key classifier in international trade. They determine customs duties, import and export rules and restrictions as well as documentation requirements. National statistical bureaus may require these codes from businesses doing foreign trade.
  • eCl@ss is a cross-industry product data standard for classification and description of products and services emphasizing on being a ISO/IEC compliant industry standard nationally and internationally. The classification guides the eCl@ss standard for product attributes (in eClass called properties) that are needed for a product with a given classification.
  • ETIM develops and manages a worldwide uniform classification for technical products. This classification guides the ETIM standard for product attributes (in ETIM called features) that are needed for a product with a given classification.

Within each organization you can have one – and often several – homegrown classification schemes that exist besides the external ones relevant in each organization. One example is how you arrange your range of products on a webshop similar to how you would arrange the goods in aisles in a physical shop.

Specific product attributes

PIM attributesWhen selling products in self-service scenarios a main challenge is that each classification of products needs a specific set of attributes (sometimes called properties and features) in order to provide the set of information needed to support a buying decision.

So, while some attributes are common for all products there will be a set of attributes needed to be populated to have data completeness for this product while these attributes are irrelevant for another product belonging to another classification.

External standards as eClass and ETIM includes a scheme that names and states the attributes needed for a product belonging to a certain classification and also the value lists that goes with it as for example which terms for colours that are valid and can be exchanged consistently between trading partners.

Related products

PIM relationA core challenge in self-service selling is that you have to mimic what a salesman does: If you enter a shop to buy an intended product, the salesman will like you to walk away with a better (and more expensive) choice along with some other products you would need to fulfil the intended purpose of use.

A common trick in a webshop is to present what other users also bought or looked at. That is the crowdsourcing approach. But it does not stop there. You must also present precisely what accessories that goes with a given product model. You must be able to present a replacement if the intended product is not available anymore (or temporarily out of stock). You can present up-sell options based on the features in question. You can present x-sell options based on the intended purpose of use.

Digital Assets

PIM assetWhen your prospective customer can’t see and feel a product online you must present product images of high quality that shows the product (and not a lot of other things too). It can be product images taken from a range of different angles. You can also provide video clips with the given product.

Besides that, there may be many other types of digital assets related to each product model. This can be installation guides, line drawings, certificates and more.

10 MDMish TLAs You Should Know

TLA stands for Three Letter Acronym. The world is full of TLAs. The IT world is indeed full of TLAs. The Data Management world is also full of TLAs. Here are 10 TLAs from the data management space that surrounds Master Data Management:

Def MDM

MDM: Master Data Management can be defined as a comprehensive method of enabling an enterprise to link all of its critical data to a common point of reference. When properly done, MDM improves data quality, while streamlining data sharing across personnel and departments. In addition, MDM can facilitate computing in multiple system architectures, platforms and applications. You can find the source of this definition and 3 other – somewhat similar – definitions in the post 4 MDM Definitions: Which One is the Best?

The most addressed master data domains are parties encompassing customer, supplier and employee roles, things as products and assets as well as location.

Def PIM

PIM: Product Information Management is a discipline that overlaps MDM. In PIM you focus on product master data and a long tail of specific product information – often called attributes – that is needed for a given classification of products.

Furthermore, PIM deals with how products are related as for example accessories, replacements and spare parts as well as the cross-sell and up-sell opportunities there are between products.

PIM also handles how products have digital assets attached.

This data is used in omni-channel scenarios to ensure that the products you sell are presented with consistent, complete and accurate data. Learn more in the post Five Product Information Management Core Aspects.

Def DAM

DAM: Digital Asset Management is about handling extended features of digital assets often related to master data and especially product information. The digital assets can be photos of people and places, product images, line drawings, certificates, brochures, videos and much more.

Within DAM you are able to apply tags to digital assets, you can convert between the various file formats and you can keep track of the different format variants – like sizes – of a digital asset.

You can learn more about how these first 3 mentioned TLAs are connected in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

Def DQM

DQM: Data Quality Management is dealing with assessing and improving the quality of data in order to make your business more competitive. It is about making data fit for the intended (multiple) purpose(s) of use which most often is best to achieved by real-world alignment. It is about people, processes and technology. When it comes to technology there are different implementations as told in the post DQM Tools In and Around MDM Tools.

The most used technologies in data quality management are data profiling, that measures what the data stored looks like, and data matching, that links data records that do not have the same values, but describes the same real world entity.

Def RDM

RDM: Reference Data Management encompass those typically smaller lists of data records that are referenced by master data and transaction data. These lists do not change often. They tend to be externally defined but can also be internally defined within each organization.

Examples of reference data are hierarchies of location references as countries, states/provinces and postal codes, different industry code systems and how they map and the many product classification systems to choose from.

Learn more in the post What is Reference Data Management (RDM)?

Def CDI

CDI: Customer Data Integration is considered as the predecessor to MDM, as the first MDMish solutions focused on federating customer master data handled in multiple applications across the IT landscape within an enterprise.

The most addressed sources with customer master data are CRM applications and ERP applications, however most enterprises have several of other applications where customer master data are captured.

You may ask: What Happened to CDI?

Def CDP

CDP: Customer Data Platform is an emerging kind of solution that provides a centralized registry of all data related to parties regarded as (prospective) customers at an enterprise.

In that way CDP goes far beyond customer master data by encompassing traditional transaction data related to customers and the emerging big data sources too.

Right now, we see such solutions coming both from MDM solution vendors and CRM vendors as reported in the post CDP: Is that part of CRM or MDM?

Def ADM

ADM: Application Data Management is about not just master data, but all critical data that is somehow shared between personel and departments. In that sense MDM covers all master within an organization and ADM covers all (critical) data in a given application and the intersection is looking at master data in a given application.

ADM is an emerging term and we still do not have a well-defined market – if there ever will be one – as examined in the post Who are the ADM Solution Providers?

Def PXM

PXM: Product eXperience Management is another emerging term that describes a trend to distance some PIM solutions from the MDM flavour and more towards digital experience / customer experience themes.

In PXM the focus is on personalization of product information, Search Engine Optimization and exploiting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in those quests.

Read more about it in the post What is PxM?

Def PDS

PDS: Product Data Syndication connects MDM, PIM (and other) solutions at each trading partner with each other within business ecosystems. As this is an area where we can expect future growth along with the digital transformation theme, you can get the details in the post What is Product Data Syndication (PDS)?

One example of a PDS service is the Product Data Lake solution I have been working with during the last couple of year. Learn why this PDS service is needed here.