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Master Data Management Redefined

October 19, 2011 1 Comment

By Jim Walker, Director, Product Marketing at Talend

Over the last year, we have seen data management climb up the list of CTOs’ and senior decision makers’ priorities in a bid to enhance quality and accuracy. In particular, Master Data Management (MDM) has become recognized as a key way for businesses to cut costs by helping firms streamline processes, in effect, reducing data duplication and redundant information.

Across the board, from financial services and public sector organizations to media and entertainment companies, MDM is rapidly becoming the answer for solving ever increasing data integration and data quality issues, by providing businesses with a single, accurate view of enterprise data.

Enterprise data often relies on email, shared spreadsheets, batch processes or proprietary black-box applications, causing a number of disconnected processes that can often lead to operational errors, incorrect reporting and costly maintenance. This is where MDM can really add value to a company’s data and dramatically improve service levels.

MDM is a combined package of data management software that, used collaboratively, will homogenize and cleanse organizational data. A cohesive MDM installation can provide a business with a competitive advantage as it increases the efficiency and accuracy of enterprise processes. Any MDM package is built on the foundations of the core elements of data quality and data integration.

Open Source – the New Breed of MDM
The potential benefits of MDM are clear, however, there are a number of factors to consider when implementing an effective MDM system to ensure actual success and return on investment. An iterative approach is most effective. Until now, this strategy has been a bit elusive, however with technological advances for integrated end-to-end tools and in particular, open source ones, which offer a different and more flexible licensing model, the framework for successful MDM implementation is now readily available in the marketplace.

MDM has become an accepted and integral component of an organization’s overall data management strategy, and with this growth comes maturity. Today’s MDM software addresses the cost, complexity, and time-to-value problems very well and this new approach is a direct response to pitfalls encountered in enterprise-scale MDM projects.

Multi-domain MDM beyond customer and product is technically feasible, but license cost remains an obstacle to broad deployment. For example, the return on investment of mastering the employee domain may be feasible when license cost is factored into the equation. This key point has limited many tools from being used as multi-domain MDM or simply to master one of these domains.

Redefined, the new breed of open source MDM presents a cost effective model that mirrors the value that the project provides the organization. Thus, value-based pricing for MDM aligns price with the consumer of the master data as opposed to raw record counts found in the hub. This model keeps pricing in sync with the level of value associated with the domain, meaning that cost is kept to an absolute minimum.

Choosing the MDM Solution for You
The MDM market has matured significantly with vendors recognizing that MDM products need to deliver a range of functions, including data profiling, data integration, data modelling, data cleansing, matching, survivorship, stewardship, hierarchy management, roles-based access controls and workflow or business process management. But what does this mean for businesses? All of these tools work towards ensuring that all data and processes are absolutely accurate, which have direct impact on customer service levels, revenue and effectively, shareholder value.

When choosing an MDM package, it is important to realize that having disparate components may or may not interoperate smoothly despite being licensed or bundled together, and can add significantly to the cost of the project. Therefore, business decision makers should not overlook complete offerings, which have a truly data-model-centric approach to MDM.

With a single, open solution, your architecture and functional definition are all focused around the most important concept, the master data itself. The data is the central focus and because it has access to each of these functions, there is greater control over data and licensing. One product can provide functionality across a host of workflow processes, which not only creates huge cost savings, but significantly saves on time too, as you are able to negotiate one license rather than multiple licenses.

With an open source MDM tool, businesses instantly have access to source code. The tool implements an open application programming interface, providing the capability to develop simple extensions and modify or customise the system to suit specific requirements.

Adopting an open source MDM product, businesses can benefit from being able to start projects instantly, eliminating the long procurement cycle usually associated with complex data management projects. As a result, the value and benefits of a project can be realized in a short amount of time, while providing businesses with the flexibility to build and develop the software as the project progresses.

In addition, open source is now allowing organizations to use MDM solutions as a collaborative authoring hub or to model and master simple domains such as reference data that can gain from the benefit of synchronization across disparate systems and lines of business. MDM is evolving and is no longer being used simply for customer and product domains.

As the economy begins to recover, businesses will need to look at ways to generate growth and one way of achieving this is by making existing customer data more accessible, and allowing firms to provide a better service and a range of relevant products to them. With this in mind, MDM is set to play a key role in driving competition across a number of industries and those taking the opportunity to set themselves apart from crowd could potentially reap the benefits that open source and Master Data Management successfully delivers.

You can reach Jim Walker and learn more about open source software by contacting Talend.

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One Comments to “Master Data Management Redefined”
  1. [...] Walker of Talend has shared his thoughts on a new breed of master data management. He writes, “The potential benefits of MDM are clear, however, there are a number of factors to [...]

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