Trends: Master Data Management 2010 – Focus On Outcomes Drives Push For Value

Published on October 26, 2009 by R "Ray" Wang

Market pressures and organizational maturity drives new master data management (MDM) trends

Conversations with 31 leading edge organizations seeking business transformation highlight shifts in the MDM trends of the past.  Organizations awash in data need to move beyond the clutter and get to the information.  More data does not equate to more information.  In order to make sense, MDM initiatives now move to align with a new set of focus – business transformation and optimization.  Seven key trends now drive the new world of MDM as we enter a new decade.

  1. Master data management must go vertical to succeed in business. Customers no longer want horizontal solutions.  MDM must tailor to industry specific requirements.  Results must be relevant to how an industry works.
  2. Structured and unstructured content will evolve into the MDM ecosystem. Customers seek tools to tie hierarchies and relationships back to unstructured data in the effort to achieve value in information.
  3. Data in the cloud and SaaS will force hybrid approaches. Cloud based and SaaS models change where and how data becomes augmented.  MDM systems must support hybrid models in real-time.  Proven data integration must be a given not an afterthought.  Data integration must be event driven.
  4. Master data management styles no longer matter, just the results. Issue of styles get relegated to the IT owner. Business users seek results and actionable insights.
  5. Data governance and stewardship more important than ever. Processes must align with use cases.  Data hygiene needs to be omnipresent but not cumbersome
  6. Social CRM creates demand for trusted profiles. Organizations now need to understand their advocates and detractors  Today’s social and connected world requires more targeted marketing, sales, and service/support programs.
  7. Business optimization and transformation will require MDM to cover more data types. MDM moves beyond customer, product, accounts, and employees.  New forms of content such as location, images, video, and tweet streams will enter the equation.

Expect to see more details on each one of these trends in the coming year.

Your POV

Where are you with your MDM strategy?  Have you deployed?  Are you redeploying?  Do these trends resonate with you ?  Let us know how we can assist or please post or send on your comments to rwang0 (at) gmail (dot) com or r (at) altimetergroup (dot) com and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

  • Jasmine – yes. MDM is now in the background with other middleware toolsets but still a very important capability for organizations to master. What do others think? – Ray

  • MDM initiatives now move to align with a new set of focus – business transformation and optimization.Business users seek results and actionable insights.

  • Ray, there is one point in particular that I couldn’t agree with more. You’re right – MDM styles don’t matter. MDM conversations should begin with “What business problem are you trying to solve?” Our customers have implemented across all the various styles put forth by different experts, but at the end of the day it’s about business value. No one is going to remember the style that a particular customer implemented. But, when I share with an audience that one of Initiate’s customers projects $138M in new revenue because they now understand the licensing positions of their customers or $47M in cost savings because their territory management system can now accurately assign territories for the field sales force…that’s worth talking about.

  • Ray,

    I can’t help but think that we’re reaching the peak of what MDM, as it is traditionally practiced, can do. It is only a matter of time until semantic web technologies will bring innovation to this market. Semantic web technologies could better automate the creation of the structure needed for MDM. And, it can go beyond classifications to enable more effective data discovery. (For example recognizing in a web search the Ray Wang who is an analyst, what company Ray works for and what companies and technologies that Ray talk about.)

    Some ideas:

    1. Vertical: Semantic technology is also ideal in building vertical taxonomies.
    2. Structured and Unstructured: designed to leverage both structured and unstructured content.
    3. Data in the cloud: Can use web and linked data from external systems.
    4. Styles: Semantic technology tends to focus on business concepts rather than the logial layer. (At the same time, supports data rationalization at the physical layer.)
    5. Governance: Might be possible to leverage semantic web technologies for governance – trap improper uses of classifications, identity facts that could change classifications.
    6. Social networks: Semantic technology is being used today to analyze customer reaction on social network sites to gauge opinions.
    7. All data types: Semantic technology extends well into all text-related content.

    BTW: my firm has absolutely nothing to do with semantic technologies or MDM.

  • Ray,right on, but how about less focus on the IT dynamics and more on the business? Kalido just closed 4 MDM deals with Fortune 500 companies ALL driven by the business. Just like apps, the users eventually will take over this process and IT will serve as an enabling function. Most important requirement from the business- being able to manage all their data, internal, external, regardless of source or origin. Our new consumer UI is receiving rave reviews from customers and prospects as it gives users access to master data in THEIR terms.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Great insight into the MDM trends, and I couldn’t agree more. We, at Siperian, are finding some of our leading customers driving us to innovate Siperian MDM Hub along these trends. Most notably, the data governance alignment into business use cases to empower the business users to create and consume master data from right within their business applications is emerging as a clear winner. Another trend worth adding is multidomain MDM capability. More so now than in the past, customers are clearly demanding the ability to handle multiple data domains within a single platform; and, much beyond what the data models that are fixed to only support customer entities. Both these trends (data governance for business users and multidomain) were very prominent in our recent largest-ever user conference –

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