Adding 180 Degrees to MDM

Master Data Management (MDM) has traditionally been about being better at utilizing and sharing internal registrations about our customers, suppliers, products, assets and other core business entities.

My latest work around master data management revolves around the concept of bringing in external data sources in order to make on-boarding processes more efficient and provide more accurate, complete and timely master data.

So, it was good to see that this approach is gaining more traction when attending the MDM Summit Europe 2013.

The old stuff

Andy Walker of BP presented how BP has built the management of party master data around aligning with the D&B WorldBase for business-to-business (B2B) customer and vendor master data.

Knowing about with which actual legal entities you are doing business and which external hierarchies they belong to is crucial for BP both in daily operations and when it comes to reporting and analysis utilizing party master data.

Using business directories isn’t new at all; it has been around for ages and from what I have seen: It works when you do it properly and consistently.

The new stuff

Big data was a hot topic on the conference. As reported in a post from the first day embracing big data may lead to Double Trouble with Social MDM and Big Data.

Steve Jones TweetHowever, digging into big data and doing social MDM may certainly also provide new opportunities as we by utilizing these new sources actually may be able to obtain (or closing in at) a 360 degree view on various master data entity types. It is, as said and tweeted by Steve Jones of Capgemini, about looking outside-in.

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Double Trouble with Social MDM and Big Data

Yesterday was the first day at the MDM Summit Europe 2013 in London.

One of the workshops I attended was called Master Data Governance for Cloud/Social MDM/Big Data. The workshop was lead by Malcolm Chisholm, one of my favorite thought leaders within data management.

According to Malcolm Chisholm, and I totally agree with that, the rise of social networks and big data will have a tremendous impact on future MDM (Master Data Management) architecture. We are not going to see that these new opportunities and challenges will replace the old way of doing MDM. Integration of social data and other big data will add new elements to the existing component landscape around MDM solutions.

Like it or not, things are going to be more complicated than before.

We will have some different technologies and methodologies handling the old systems of record and the new systems of engagement at the same time, for example relational databases (as we know it today) for master data and columnar databases for big data.

Profiling results from analysis of big data will be added to the current identity resolution centric master data elements handled in current master data solutions. Furthermore, there will be new interfaces for social collaboration around master data maintenance on top of the current interfaces.

So, the question is if taking on the double trouble is worth it. Doing nothing, in this case sticking to small data, is always a popular option. But will the organizations choosing that path exist in the next decade? – or will they be outsmarted by newcomers?

MDM Summit Europe 2013

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Why You shouldn’t go to the MDM Summit Europe 2013

The weather in London has been awful this March. The forecast for the first week of April doesn’t meet historical standards either. The MDM Summit Europe 2013 will be in London 15th to 17th April. You shouldn’t go there because of the weather based on the trend in the weather forecast:

London Forecast April 2013

On the other hand, it could heat up indoor.

There are quite a lot of exciting sessions, including the ones about:

And hey, it has happened before that the weather has suddenly improved.

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Putting it Right

Data Governance (DG), Reference Data Management (RDM) and Management Data Management (MDM) are closely related disciplines.

MDM DG RDMConsequently the Data Governance Conference Europe 2013 and the Master Data Management Summit Europe 2013 are co-located and a hot topic this year is Reference Data Management.

The difficulties in putting the sessions on the conference in one right place may be seen by that the session called Establishing Reference Data Governance in the Large Enterprise is part of a MDM track, but is actually mostly about data governance. The session is labeled Product MDM & Reference Data, but will be about governing reference data for multi-domain MDM and the data governance program described was in fact based on a party master data challenge involving reference data for industry classification.

In the session Petter Larsen, Head of Data Governance at Norway’s largest financial services group called DNB, and Thomas T. Thykjaer, Lead MDM Consultant at Capgemini, will connect the dots in the landscape of business vocabularies, data models, the data governance toolbox, data domains and reference data architecture.

I for sure look forward to that Petter and Thomas will put it right.

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Is Managing Master Data a Differentiating Capability?

If you are a Master Data Management (MDM) fanatic seeing the MDM solution as the centre of the universe and you plan to attend the MDM Summit Europe 2013 then you might as well start to work on your consistency in booing and your accuracy in throwing rotten tomatoes.

In the session called Multi-Entity MDM for the Enterprise Bert Hooyman will shock you by telling that managing master data is not considered a differentiating capability at Royal Philips Electronics.

The solution at Philips is based on the information factory idea and built upon data warehouse technology. Master data and transactional data are treated equally.

saving bulb MDMWhere others may struggle with Multi-Entity / Multidomain MDM the path chosen by Philips already serves multiple business cases for combining party master data and product master data.

I guess the term “a Philips light bulb moment” could have been used too much, so let me just say that I look forward to be enlightened on how to do MDM in an energy saving way.

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The Data Governance Jigsaw Puzzle

Picture this: You find yourself taking over a challenging Data Governance initiative part way through and the path to complete the implementation is far from clear.

Most learning and best practices for data governance implementation, and a lot of other implementations of whatever, are based on doing the stuff from start to end. But in fact many people are thrown into the journey somewhere along the route without any own history on how the journey began, no clear understanding on why the actual direction was taken and no clue about where the end of the rainbow is supposed to be.

If this isn’t hard enough the good people organizing the Data Governance Conference Europe 2013 (co-located with the MDM Summit) has put the session from Nicola Askham on this tough challenge almost at end of the program. Check it out here.

Last Friday I met Nicola for an after work drink at a secret place in the City of London and I can assure you that Nicola despite all odds is fit for fight and ready to kick y… well, putting the puzzle together.

DG2013

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Business in the Driver’s Seat for MDM

It has always been a paradox in Master Data Management (MDM), and many other IT enabled disciplines, that while most people agree that the business part of business should take the lead, often it is the IT part of business that is running the projects.

However, at Tetra Pak, a multi-national company of Swedish origin, MDM has been approached as a business problem rather than as an IT problem.

Yesterday I touched base with Program Manager Jesper Persson at Tetra Pak.

A main reason for Tetra Pak to focus on MDM was having a very specific business problem related to master data, not an IT problem. Taking it from there the business has been in the driver’s seat for the MDM journey.

Master data quality and related data quality dimensions are seen as triggers for the essential KPI’s related to process performance. The model for getting this right is starting with the business requirements, putting the needed data governance in place, getting on with managing master data which leads to the actual master data maintenance all as part of business process management.

Jesper is telling a lot more at the Master Data Management Summit Europe 2013 in London in the session Business in the Driver’s Seat for MDM – Integrating MDM with BPM.

MDM Summit Europe 2013

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