MDM, Reltio, Gartner and Business Outcome

A recent well commented blog post by Andrew White of Gartner, the analyst firm, debates What’s Happening in Master Data Management (MDM) Land?

The post is an answer to a much liked and commented LinkedIn status post by Ramon Chen, Chief Product Officer of Reltio.

In his post Andrew connects the classic dots: How does technology lead to business outcome? Especially the use of cloud solutions and the multi-tenant aspect is in the focus. Andrew asks: What do you see “out there”?

My view is that multi-tenant is not just about offering the same subscription based cloud solutions to a range of clients. It is about making clients sharing the same business ecosystem work in the same MDM realm. This is the platform described in Master Data Share.

Gartner Digital Platforms 2
Source: Gartner

Oh, and what does that have to do with business outcome? A lot. Organizations will not win the future the race by optimizing there inhouse MDM capabilities alone. With the rise of digitalization, they need to connect with and understand their customers, which I believe is something Reltio is good at. Furthermore, organisations need to be much better at working with their business partners in a modern way, including at the master data level. The business outcome of this is:

  • Having complete, accurate and timely data assets needed for understanding and connecting with customers. You will sell more.
  • Having a fast and seamless flow of data assets, not at least product information, to and from your trading partners. You will reduce costs.
  • Having a holistic view of internal and external data needed for decision making. You will mitigate risks.

Betting on the Next Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions 2016 came out early in 2017 as reported in the post Who will become Future Leaders in the Gartner Multidomain MDM Magic Quadrant?

So, it may be about time to take some bets on the next one.

First question will naturally be if Gartner is able to get the report out this year? Last year it was scheduled for November 2016 but was two months late into the next year, maybe due to some struggling with the vendors, who also are clients at Gartner, based on the form of a single MDM quadrant opposite to earlier years multiple MDM quadrants for customer and product MDM.

The scheduled date on the Gartner website is 10/31/17, which to none US people reads at the 10th day in the 31st month in year 17.

MDM BrandsNext question is if there are new entries or vendors dropping off? Another market report from Information Difference had a somewhat different crowd as examined in the post Varying Views on the MDM Market 2017.

In the comments to this post readers have posted questions about Magnitude Software, TIBCO Software and Riversand Technologies. Are they in danger? And who might be new entries?

Finally, of course we can have a guess on who will be able to brag about being the leaders. Will Informatica and Orchestra Networks be followed by other ones? Riversand was close last year in that visionaries space. Stibo Systems moves in from the challengers room.

Feel free to have your bet, or set the odds, in the comments below.

Master Data: The Frontier of Infonomics

Still, the term infonomics does not run unmarked through my English spellchecker. But I think one day it will.

Infonomics BookInfonomics is first and foremost connected to Gartner analyst Doug Laney, who recently told a bit about his upcoming book on the subject in the post Why a Book on Infonomics?

In his preview Doug Laney writes: “Perhaps the book brings about a revolution of sorts, leading to the recognition of information as an accounting asset, and subject to the same legal treatment as other forms of property.

This resonates very well with me, as I think Master Data Management (MDM) is the new bookkeeping. One example of why it should be so, is examined in a nearly 10-year-old post about a financial scandal in Denmark, that would have been avoided if the auditors had spent 10 minutes on the company’s master data. Read more in Master Data Audit.

Master data is only one form of information. However, in my eyes it is the one with the best chance of making sense as an accounting asset.

As business ecosystems and related digital ecosystems are becoming increasingly important in information management I also think that exchange of master data will be worth accounting for as pondered in the post Infonomics and Second Party Data.

The Need for Data in Master Data Management

For nearly a decade we have lived with the Gartner 7 building blocks of MDM.

The 7 blocks encompassing vision, strategy, metrics, governance, organization, processes and technology was recently touched here on the blog in the post The Need for a MDM Vision.

Yesterday Justine Rodian of Stibo Systems wrote Why 7 Master Data Management Building Blocks Aren’t Enough Anymore: Revisiting Gartner’s Best Practice Model.

Block 8 proposed herein, based on a presentation by former Gartner analyst John Radcliffe, is data. I have no problem with that. I think data has been there always as the foundation for information leading to knowledge and topped by wisdom.

Yep, let’s include data in Master Data Management.

MDMDG 2013 wordle

The Need for a MDM Vision

Many of the MDM programs we see are increasingly tactical rather than enterprise in nature. This observation was examined in the previous post on this blog as well as in the comments. If you missed it, check out Do we need better business decisions about MDM?

MDM BlocksA crucial point is that organizations have a MDM vision. The need for a MDM vision was also the top block in the seven building blocks of MDM proposed by John Radcliffe, when John worked at Gartner (the analyst firm).

In here, John advised that there should be one unifying, strategic MDM vision that needs to reflect the organization’s business vision. However, due to internal politics and entrenched working practices a pragmatic, step-by-step approach is necessary for the entire organization to embrace the vision.

Does your organization have a MDM vision? What is included in the MDM vision? How is the vision embraced by various organizational entities?

MDM / PIM Platform Vendors Need to Grow Up Too

Participating in digital ecosystems is the way forward for enterprises who wants to be tomorrow’s winners through digital transformation.

Some figures from Gartner, the analyst firm, tells this about digital transformation:

  • 79% of top performing companies indicate that they participate in a digital ecosystem
  • 49% of typical companies indicate the same
  • 24% of trailing companies does it

These figures were lately examined by Bryan Kirschner of Apigee (now part of Google) in a Cio.com article called Ecosystems: when digital transformation grows up.

Master Data Share
Master Data Share for Business Ecosystems

As a Master Data Management (MDM) and/or Product Information Management (PIM) platform vendor you should support your current and prospective clients with means to participate in digital ecosystems.

Current offerings from MDM and PIM platforms vendors have become quite mature in supporting inhouse (enterprise wide) handling of master data and product information. Next step is supporting sharing within business ecosystems. A concept for that is introduced in Master Data Share.

Master Data or Shared Data or Critical Data or What?

What is master data and what is Master Data Management (MDM) is a recurring subject on this blog as well as the question about if we need the term master data and the concept of MDM. Recently I read two interesting articles on this subject.

Andrew White of Gartner wrote the post Don’t You Need to Understand Your Business Information Architecture?

In here, Andrew mentions this segmentation of data:

  • Master data – widely referenced, widely shared across core business processes, defined initially and only from a business perspective
  • Shared application data – less widely but still shared data, between several business systems, that links to master data
  • Local application data – not shared at all outside the boundary of the application in mind, that links to shared application and master data

Teemu Laakso of Kone Corporation has just changed his title from Head of Master Data Management to Head of Data Design and published an article called Master Data Management vs. Data Design?

In here, Teemu asks?

What’s wrong in the MDM angle? Well, it does not make any business process to work and therefore doesn’t create a direct business case. What if we removed the academic borderline between Master Data and other Business Critical data?

The shared sentiment, as I read it, between the two pieces is that you should design your “business information architecture” and the surrounding information governance so that “Data Design Equals Business Design”.

My take is that you must look from one level up to get the full picture. That will be considering how your business information architecture fits into the business ecosystem where your enterprise is a part, and thereby have the same master data, shares the same critical data and then operates your own data that links to the shared critical data and business ecosystem wide master data.

Master Data or