Six MDM, AI and ML Use Cases

One of the hottest trends in the Master Data Management (MDM) world today is how to exploit Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ignite that with Machine Learning (ML).

This aspiration is not new. It has been something that have been going on for years and you may argue about when computerized decision support and automation goes from being applying advanced algorithms to being AI. However, the AI and ML theme is getting traction today as part of digital transformation and whatever we call it, there are substantial business outcomes to pursue.

As told in the post Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Data Quality perhaps all use cases for applying AI is dependent on data quality and MDM is playing a crucial role in sustaining data quality efforts.

Some of the use cases for AI and ML in the MDM realm I have come across over the years are:

6 MDM, AI and ML use cases

Translating between taxonomies: As reported in the post Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Multienterprise MDM emerging technologies can help in translating between the taxonomies in use when digital transformation sets a new bar for utilizing master data in business ecosystems.

Transforming unstructured to structured: A lot of data is kept in an unstructured way and to in order to systematically exploit these data in AI supported business process we need make data more structured. AI and ML can help with that too.

Data quality issue prevention: Simple rules for checking integrity and validating data is good – but unfortunately not good enough for ensuring data quality. AI is a way to exploit statistical methods and complex relationships.

Categorizing data: Digital transformation, spiced up with increasing compliance requirements, has made data categorization a must and AI and ML can be an effective way to solve this task that usually is not possible for humans to cover across an enterprise.

Data matching: Establishing a link between multiple descriptions of the same real-world entity across an enterprise and out to third party reference data has always been a pain. AI and ML can help as examined in the post The Art in Data Matching.

Improving insight: The scope of MDM can be enlarged to Extended MDM Platforms where other data as transactions and big data is used to build a 360-degree of the master data entities. AI and ML is a prerequisite to do that.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Multienterprise MDM

The previous post on this blog was called Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Data Quality. In here the it was examined how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacted by data quality and how data quality can impact AI.

Master Data Management (MDM) will play a crucial role in sustaining the needed data quality for AI and with the rise of digital transformation encompassing business ecosystems we will also see an increasing need for ecosystem wide MDM – also called multienterprise MDM.

Right now, I am working with a service called Product Data Lake where we strive to utilize AI including using Machine Learning (ML) to understand and map data standards and exchange formats used within product information exchange between trading partners.

The challenge in this area is that we have many different classification systems in play as told in the post Five Product Classification Standards. Besides the industry and cross sector standards we still have many homegrown standards as well.

Some of these standards (as eClass and ETIM) also covers standards for the attributes needed for a given product classification, but still, we have plenty of homegrown standards (at no standards) for attribute requirements as well.

Add to that the different preferences for exchange methods and we got a chaotic system where human intervention makes Sisyphus look like a lucky man. Therefore, we have great expectations about introducing machine learning and artificial intelligence in this space.

AI ML PDL

Next week, I will elaborate on the multienterprise MDM and artificial theme on the Master Data Management Summit Europe in London.

Solutions for Handling Product Master Data and Digital Assets

There are three kinds of solutions for handling product master data and related digital assets:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) solutions that are either focussed on product master data or being a multi-domain MDM solution covering the product domain as well as the party domain, the location domain, the asset domain and more.
  • Product Information Management (PIM) solutions.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions.

According to Gartner Analyst Simon Walker a short distinction is:

  • MDM of product master data solutions help manage structured product data for enterprise operational and analytical use cases
  • PIM solutions help extend structured product data through the addition of rich product content for sales and marketing use cases
  • DAM solutions help users create and manage digital multimedia files for enterprise, sales and marketing use cases

The below figure shows what kind of data that is typically included in respectively an MDM solution, a PIM solution and/or a DAM solution.

MDM PIM DAM

This is further elaborated in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

The solution vendors have varying offerings going from being best-of-breed in one of the three categories to offering a OneStopShopping solution for all disciplines.

If you are to compile a list of suitable and forward-looking solutions for MDM, PIM and/or DAM for your required mix, you can start looking at The Disruptive List of MDM/PIM/DAM solutions.

Who is on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List?

The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions List is a sister site to this blog. This site is aimed to be a list of available:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) solutions
  • Customer Data Integration (CDI) solutions
  • Product Information Management (PIM) solutions
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions.

You can use this site as an alternative to the likes of Gartner, Forrester, MDM Institute and others when selecting a MDM / CDI / PIM / DAM solution, not at least because this site will include both larger and smaller disruptive MDM solutions.

Vendors can register their solutions here and the crowd, being processional users, can review the solutions.

So far these solutions have been listed:

Reltio thumb

Reltio provides all the benefits of cloud like simplicity, scale, and security. On top of that, Reltio breaks down data silos by providing a unified data set with personalized views of data across departments like sales, marketing and compliance. Learn more about Reltio Cloud here.

thumbnailRiversand is an innovative global pioneer in information management. The powerful MDM, PIM and DAM solution help enterprises to transform their raw data into an engine of growth by making data usable, useful and meaningful. Learn more about Riversand here.

Semarchy IconSemarchy xDM is a platform that enables Intelligent MDM and Collaborative Data Governance. It leverages smart algorithms, an agile design, and scales to meet enterprise complexity with solid ROI. Learn more about Semarchy xDM here.

Contentserv thumbContentserv offers a real-time Product Experience Platform being recognized and recommended by international analysts as one of the top worldwide innovators and strong performers in the PIM & MDM space. Learn more about Contentserv here.

ewEnterWorks, which recently was joint with Winshuttle is a multi-domain master data solution for acquiring, managing and transforming a company’s multi-domain master data into persuasive and personalized content for marketing, sales, digital commerce and new market opportunities. Learn about Enterworks here.

SyncForce-plus-icon

SyncForce helps international consumer & professional packaged goods manufacturers realize Epic Availability. With SyncForce, your product portfolio is digitally available with a click of a button, in every shape and form, both internal and external. Learn about SyncForce here.

Dynamicweb thumb

Dynamicweb PIM brings you fewer applications, integrations and systems. It is fast and inexpensive to implement and maintain, because it is part of an all-in-one platform for omni-channel commerce. Learn more about Dynamicweb PIM here.

Agility thumbAgility® empowers marketers to acquire, enrich and deliver accurate and timely product content through every touchpoint, channel and region along with the analytical support required to maximize effectiveness in the market. Learn more about Agility here.

Magnitude thumbMagnitude Software’s Master Data Management solution offers enterprises the core capabilities to model multiple data entities, harmonize the data sources and manage governance processes for reference data and master data. Learn more about Magnitude MDM here.

AllsightAllSight, which is now a part of Informatica, is using state-of-the-art AI-driven technology in an MDM and Customer 360 solution. AllSight matches and links all customer data and provides multiple views of the customer for different users.

Smallest

Product Data Lake, which is affiliated to this blog, is a cloud service for sharing product master data in the business ecosystems of manufacturers, distributors, merchants, marketplaces and large end users of product information. Learn more about Product Data Lake here.

Disruptive MDM M and A

 

Real-World Multidomain MDM Entities

In Master Data Management (MDM) we strive to describe the core entities that are essential to running a business. Most of these entities are something that exists in the real-world. We can organize these entities in various groups as for example parties, things and locations or by their relation to the business buy-side, sell-side and make-side (production).

Multidomain MDM

The challenge in MDM is, as in life in general, that we use the same term for different concepts and different terms for the same concept.

Here are some of the classic issues:

  • An employee is someone who works within an organization. Sometimes this term must be equal to someone who is on the payroll. But sometimes it is also someone who works besides people on the payroll but is contracting and therefore is more like a vendor. Sometimes employees buy stuff from the organization and therefore acts as a customer.
  • Is it called vendor or supplier? The common perception is that a vendor brings the invoice and the supplier brings the goods and/or services. This is often the same legal entity but not too seldom two different legal entities.
  • What is a customer? There are numerous challenges in this question. It is about when a party starts being a customer and when the relationship ends. It is about whether it is a direct or an indirect customer. And also: Is it a business-to-consumer (B2C) customer, a business-to-business (B2B) or a B2B2C customer?
  • Besides employees, vendors and customers (and similar terms) we also care about other parties being business partners. We care about those entities that we must engage with in order to influence our sales. In manufacturing or reselling building materials you for example build relationships with the architects and engineers who choose the materials to be used for a building.
  • Traditionally product master data management has revolved around describing a product model which can be produced and sold in many instances over time. With the rise of intelligent things and individually configured complex products, we increasingly must describe each instance of a product as an asset. This adds to the traditional asset domain, where only a few valuable assets have been handled with focus on the financial value.
  • Each party and each thing have one and most often several relationships with a geographic location (besides digital locations as for example websites).

The relationships within multi-domain MDM was examined further in the post 3 Old and 3 New Multi-Domain MDM Relationship Types.

The latest and hottest trends within MDM

Leading up to the Nordic Midsummer I am pleased to join Informatica and their co-hosts Capgemini and CGI at two morning seminars on how successful organizations can leverage data to drive their digital transformation, the needed data strategy and the urge to have a 360-view of data relationships and interactions.

My presentations will be an independent view on the question: What are the latest and hottest trends within Master Data Management?

In this session, I will give the audience a quick walk-through visiting some in vogue topics as MDM in the cloud, MDM for big data, embracing Internet of Things (IoT) within MDM, business ecosystem wide MDM and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on MDM.

The events will take place, and you can register to be there, as follows:

Infa Nordic morning seminars 2019

Several Sources of Truth about MDM / PIM Solutions

The previous post on this blog was about Forrester vs Gartner on MDM/PIM. This post was about who is recognized as a major Master Data Management (MDM) / Product Information Management (PIM) solution vendor by the analyst firm Forrester versus who is recognized as a major MDM solution provider by the analyst firm Gartner.

MDM Truths

Now, let us have a look into how the individual solution providers are ranked in either the same way or differently by these major analyst firms spiced with my humble take on where this will be going. In the cause of brevity, I will focus on vendors positioned by Forrester as an MDM /PIM leader or strong performer or by Gartner as an MDM leader, visionary or challenger.

Informatica is an MDM leader both with Forrester and Gartner. When it comes to PIM Forrester has Informatica a little behind the leaders and back in the days when Gartner had specific customer MDM and product MDM quadrants, Informatica did better in customer MDM versus product MDM. Informatica has strengthened their grip on customer MDM with the recent AllSight acquisition. Will be interesting to see what moves Informatica will take to catching up on the product MDM / PIM battle ground and thus consolidating their multidomain MDM leadership.

Orchestra Networks who was recently acquired by Tibco is a leader in the eyes of Gartner but a bit less prominent positioned as a strong performer in the eyes of Forrester. The question asked on the market is if Tibco, against how earlier acquisitions turned out, will be able uphold Orchestra’s position as examined in the post Tibco, Orchestra and Netrics.

Reltio is a leader in the Forrester wave but still a niche player in the Gartner quadrant. This may say more about Forrester versus Gartner than about Reltio. Forrester seems to focus more on where the market is going while Gartner emphasizes on where the market has gone.

Riversand is a strong MDM and PIM performer at Forrester and a visionary in the Gartner quadrant. Perhaps Gartner sees a bit more on the vision side and Forrester a bit more on the offering side, but all in all the two analyst firms seems to be in agreement about Riversand. I think Riversand is on a good track.

SAP is a strong performer in the Forrester wave and a strong challenger according to Gartner. A lot of SAP ECC clients have and will choose the SAP MDG offering based on IT landscape simplification considerations. The Forrester PIM wave has SAP trailing the other solutions, which corresponds with my impression, which is that the SAP Hybris offering is struggling with really being a PIM solution.

Semarchy just made a high jump into the Gartner MDM quadrant challenger zone and according to Forrester they have the strongest MDM strategy possible. No doubt about that Semarchy is going in the fast track.

Profisee just moved up from niche player to challenger in the latest Gartner MDM quadrant. However, they were not included in the Forrester MDM wave. In my eyes, Profisee belongs among the major MDM solution providers.

Stibo Sytems is a challenger in the Gartner MDM quadrant. Forrester has Stibo Systems as a PIM leader but less prominent as an MDM contender. Stibo Systems has been on the same track as Riversand going from being a PIM vendor to become a multidomain MDM vendor. Perhaps because they are self-funded, versus Riversand being funded from outside, their tracks seem different.

IBM hangs on as a challenger in the Gartner MDM quadrant. Forrester only have IBM as a contender both for MDM and PIM. Nevertheless, large companies, not at least in the financial sector, will continue to rely on IBM also when it comes to MDM.

EnterWorks is a PIM leader and also an MDM leader according to Forrester. According to Gartner they are still a niche player in MDM. Recently EnterWorks joined forces with WinShuttle as told in the post The Recent Coupling on the MDM Market. It is not unlikely, that the Forrester view and the Gartner view will be aligned in the future.

Pitney Bowes is a strong performer in the latest Forrester wave sliding a bit from being a leader two years ago. They are not included in the Gartner quadrant. Pitney Bowes need to promote themselves as an MDM vendor and come up with new stuff to remain a major player on the MDM market.

Magnitude Software, who’s MDM solution was formerly known as Kalido, has moved up from contender to be a strong performer in the Forrester Wave. They are not included in the Gartner quadrant. Will be exciting to see if Magnitude Software can reignite the momentum Kalido had back in the first MDM years. Agility Multichannel is a part of Magnitude Software and a strong PIM performer at Forrester – and in my eyes too.

Contentserv is a PIM leader on the Forrester wave. Contentserv is also an MDM niche player on the Gartner quadrant. inRiver and Salsify are strong PIM performers on the Forrester wave but not big enough (and perhaps not MDM focussed enough) to be on the Gartner MDM quadrant.

PS: You can learn more about many of solutions mentioned here – and some more – on The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions List.

Forrester vs Gartner on MDM/PIM

Both Forrester and Gartner have recently published reports with rankings of the vendors on the Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) market.

Below is an overview of who is in (and who is out) in these reports:

Forrester vs Gartner

Forrester MDM Wave 2019Forrester’s Master Data Management report (the Wave) came out this week as reported in the post Toward the Third Generation of MDM. This report focusses on MDM capabilities. The included vendors follow in some extent the same vendors recognized by Gartner with Profisee as a surprising omission. Instead Forrester has included Pitney Bowes, Backoffice Associates and Magnitude Software (the solution formerly known as Kalido).

2018-Forrester-PIM-WaveLast June Forrester published their Product Information Management Wave as told in the post There is no PIM quadrant, but there is a PIM wave. This report included some PIM vendors not included by Gartner. These were Agility Multichannel (part of Magnitude Software), inRiver and Salsify.

MDM MQ 2018The Gartner report (the Magic Quadrant) came out in December as mentioned in the post Movements in the Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant 2018. Gartner began some years ago only publishing a multidomain MDM view instead of their previous separate customer MDM and product MDM quadrants. Gartner has, opposite to Forrester, included Ataccama and Via Medici.

PS: If you want to know about some more interesting vendors on the MDM/PIM market, you can have a look at The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions List.