Annus Horribilis 2020, Annus Mirabilis 2021?

At this time of the year, it is custom to make a foreseeing about what will happen next year usually within a specific area – as for example data management.

After 2020 one should think that making any qualified guess about next year should be regarded within a huge amount of uncertainty.

Well, let us have a go anyway.

The horrible year of the outbreak of the pandemic has also affected the data management scene. One often mentioned theme is the accelerated digitalization, which all the bad things about the pandemic aside, seen in isolation (so to speak), is a positive development.

Digitalization also push globalization. Now you do not have to work with data management partners who is within a 5 miles reach – 5,000 kilometres will be the same.

In fact, the outlook for the data management industry is not bad at all. Digital transformation initiatives will require investments in data management consultancy, data management services and data management technology. The competition will intensify with many partners available at a global range. This will be an opportunity for smaller consultancies with broad visions, nimble service providers with scalable offerings and forward-looking tool vendors with doable solutions.

The chances for gaining market shares in a developing market are good for those of you who sell data management stuff.

The chances for getting the best help are good for those of you who buy data management stuff.

A Merry Christmas to you who celebrate this and a Happy Calendar New Year to all of you.    

A Data Lake, Santa Style

Following up on last years post on Big Data Quality, Santa Style (and previous years of Santa style posts) it is time to see how Santa may utilize a data lake.

birthday presentsI imagine that handling product information must be a big pain point at the Santa Corporation. All the product information from suppliers of present items comes in using different standards and various languages. In the same way the wish lists from boys and girls comes in many languages and using many different wordings.

Forcing the same standard on all suppliers (and boys and girls) is quite utopic – even for Santa.

So using a data lake for product information seems to be a good choice, not at least if that data lake encompasses the whole business ecosystem around the Santa Corporation.

By joining Product Data Lake the Santa Corporation will put their required product portfolio and the needed attributes for the products into Product Data Lake in all the languages operated at Santa’s site.

The suppliers of toys, electronics, books, clothes and heaps of other nice things will by joining Product Data Lake in the same way put their products and the attributes offered into Product Data Lake.

In here, the products and attributes will be linked to the ones used by Santa. But this is only the beginning of a joyful ride. The products and attributes can also be linked to all the other trading partners on Product Data Lake, so the manufacturer will only have to upload this information once.

Ho ho ho. This year it is not only nice boys and girls that gets a present – and this year the right one -from Santa. Smart suppliers will get a big present too.

Black Friday Afterthoughts before Christmas

Black Friday & Christmas: 5 Retail Strategies for Providing a Wonderful Shopping Experience” is the title of a recent blog post by Antonia Renner on the Informatica blog.

This blog post revolves around how Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) can be the foundation of a better shopping experience and how to do this within driving digital transformation, being agile, and streamlining internal and external collaboration and workflows.

I agree with that. My only concern around the means mentioned relates to the section about how great customer experience starts with great supplier product data. The proposed approach for that is a self-service supplier data portal.

pdl-whyFrom what I have experienced, the concept of a supplier data portal for product data has limited chances of success. The problem for you as retailer or other form of downstream trading partner is your supplier. They will eventually have to deal with hundreds of supplier portals with different format and structure by the choice of their downstream trading partners, whereof you are just one. If you are a big one to them, it might work. Else probably not.

In the same way, your supplier could offer their customer data portal, build with their choice of format and structure. If they are a big one to you, you might go with that. Else, you probably would object to dealing with hundreds of different upstream data portals for you to go-to.

My Christmas present to you – suppliers, retailers, other supply chain nodes / PIM-MDM solution vendors – is a free trial / ambassadorship on Product Data Lake.

Product Data Lake is a cloud service for sharing product data in business ecosystems. Product Data Lake ensures:

  • Completeness of product information by enabling trading partners to exchange product data in a uniform way
  • Timeliness of product information by connecting trading partners in a process driven way
  • Conformity of product information by encompassing various international standards for product information
  • Consistency of product information by allowing upstream trading partners and downstream trading partners to interact with in-house structure of product information
  • Accuracy of product information by ensuring transparency of product information across the supply chain

It’s in your hands. See you on Product Data Lake.

Big Data Quality, Santa Style

Previous years close to Christmas posts on this blog has been about Multi-Domain MDM, Santa Style and Data Governance, Santa Style.

julemandenSo this year it may be the time to have a closer look at big data quality, Santa style, meaning how we can imagine Santa Claus is joining the raise of big data while observing that exploiting data, big or small, is only going to add real value if you believe in data quality. Ho ho ho.

At the Santa Claus organization they have figured out, that there is a close connection between excellence in working with big data and excellence in multi-domain Master Data Management (MDM) and data governance.

Here are some of the findings in the big data paper that the Chief Data Elf just signed off:

  • The feasibility of the new algorithms for naughty or nice marking using social media listening combined with our historical records is heavily dependent on unique, accurate and timely boys and girls master data. The party data governance elf gathering will be accountable for any nasty and noisy issues.
  • Implementation of the automated present buying service based on fuzzy matching between our supplier self-service based multi-lingual product catalogue and the wish list data lake must be done in a phased schedule. The product data governance elf committee are responsible for avoiding any false positives (wrong present incidents) and decreasing the number of false negatives (someone not getting what could be purchaed within the budget).
  • Last year we had and an 12.25 % overspend on reindeers due to incorrect and missing chimney positions. This year the reliance on crowdsourced positions will be better balanced with utilizing open government property data where possible. The location data governance elves will consult with the elves living on the roof at each head of state in order make them release more and better quality of any such data (the Gangnam Project).

What does Twitter Know?

We all know the pain of receiving e-mails with offers that is totally beside what you need.

Now Twitter has joined this spamming habit, which is a bit surprising, because with all the talk about big data and what it can do for prospect and customer insight, you should think that Twitter knows something about you.

Well, apparently not.

I operate two Twitter accounts. One named @hlsdk used for my general interaction with the data management community and one named @ProductDataLake used for a start-up service called Product Data Lake.

For both accounts, I am flooded with e-mails from Twitter about increasing my Holiday sales by using their ad services.


Strange, because:

  • My businesses is not Business-to-Consumer (B2C) being about selling stuff to consumers, where the coming season is a high peak in the Western World. My business is Business-to-Business (B2B) where the coming season when it comes to sales is a stand still in the Western World.
  • In my part of the Western World we don’t use the term Holidays for the coming season. We (still) call it Christmas as told in the post Is the Holiday Season called Christmas Time or Yuletide?
  • In my home country, Denmark, you are not allowed to e-mail businesses with offers in e-mails unless you have actually asked for it. Not sure if Twitter is on the right side of the law here.

Data Governance, Santa Style

Multi-Domain MDM, Santa Style, is the title of a post on this blog made a couple of years ago. This post was about how a multi-domain Master Data Management solution could look like in an organization doing business as we think Santa Claus do.

Many organizations around the world who has recently embraced Master Data Management (MDM) has added Data Governance as an imperative parallel or integrated initiative. I guess Santa could have followed that path too.

Below are some thoughts about data governance considerations at the Santa Claus place based on a concept from The Data Governance Institute mentioned in the post Data Governance: Day 2:

Proactive Rules

What does it mean to be naughty or nice? I guess that must be a key question faced by Santa and his team every day. Santa is probably in no better position here than your are in many real world organizations. It is challenging to document key principles that everyone refer to every day as it turns really hard when you try to put them in a common shared business glossary.

RudoplhOngoing Services

Is Santa able to implement data governance based on the roles that the elves and the reindeers have had in daily operations around Christmas or does he have to ask Rudolph to head up a Data Governance Office or even become Chief Data Officer?

Reactive Issue Resolution

What should Santa do when the logistic elves insist on chimney positions in UTM and the reindeers can only use WGS84 coordinates? If Santa’s data governance programme does not solve this one you better watch out when Santa Claus is coming to Town.

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Data Quality X-mas Stories

Today is 2nd of December and time for the 2nd x-mas theme on this blog this year following up on the early yuletide post about The Shortcut to Lapland.

In a way it is not in line with a main subject on this blog being diversity to focus too much on Christmas as I know that many readers may have for example Eid, Diwali or Chinese New Year as the main days of celebration during the year.

To me The Holidays is much about having light in a time of year up north that else would be very dark and even depressive. When I am in Copenhagen I live on a cosy square called Gråbrødretorv (Grey Friars Market). In summertime the square is filled with outdoor seating. Not so much in the winter. But then there is a fir tree with lights on.


Anyway there is lots of stuff in the x-mas theme you can relate to data quality. Some of the older ones on this blog were:

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The Shortcut to Lapland

11th of November and it’s time for the first x-mas post on this blog this year. My London gym is to blame for this early start.

Santa’s residence is disputed. As told in the post Multi-Domain MDM, Santa Style one option is Lapland.

Yesterday this yuletide challenge was included in an eMail in my inbox:


Nice. Lapland is in Northern Scandinavia. Scandinavia belongs to that half of the world where comma is used as decimal mark as shown in the post Your Point, My Comma.

So while the UK born gym members will be near fainting doing several thousands of kilometers, I will claim the prize after easy 3 kilometers and 546 meters on the cross trainer.

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The Data Quality Magi

(No, it’s not magic this time, just magi).three-wise-men-star

The Magi is another term for the Three Wise Men, who are believed to have presented their three gifts on the 6th of January.

Their three gifts were according to the tradition: Gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Now, if three wise men came to your organization today with some data quality related gifts, what would that be?

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Happy New Year and Merry Christmas

A week ago I had a quick vote here on the blog about when it will be Next Christmas.

Vote on xmasThe results are as seen to the right (or above on a mobile device). Most readers think it will be on 25th December 2013 either written in the straight forward date format as 25/12/2013 or in the awkward date format used in the United States thus being 12/25/2013. Some people, probably from Scandinavia, think it’s today the 24/12/2013. For people living in countries mostly observing the Eastern Orthodox Church Christmas will be on the 7th January, 07/01/2014 in the straight forward date format used there, using the secular Gregorian calendar. This is because the Eastern Church still sticks to the old Julian calendar which is 14 days behind the Gregorian calendar.

So, depending on what you celebrate and in which order:

  • Happy Holidays
  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  • Happy New Year and Merry Christmas

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