MDM solutions initially focused on either customer or product data, which are common to virtually any organization. Customer data tend to be high in volume, especially in telco, retail banking, and retail, but are relatively simple. Product data then tend to be less voluminous, but more elaborate and often with complex classification hierarchies. While we can’t always have our cake and eat it as well in most scenarios, there are many advantages if the management of master data is unambiguously recorded and managed like uniform cuts of cake. This concerns roles, responsibilities, functions, processes, workflows, and data rules. Putting all the pieces together so that you get the full benefits of a unified view.
When we look at MDM’s maturity in the market, it all started with implementing single-domain MDM solutions like a Customer Data Integration (CDI) platform or a Product Information Management (PIM) platform. This led to double costs in implementation, licensing and support. But even more so, these siloed solutions needed integration with another solution to share data and its relationships. Not the best way to improve data quality, data governance, and not the most ideal for business users and data stewards being confronted with working with different applications and UIs. This application architecture does not correctly support what MDM is about, sharing data assets and managing the relationships between them. This is also explained by Bob Eve, Senior Data Management Strategist, TIBCO Software, in his article “The need to become a next-generation data organisation – and leaving the silos behind”
Managing master data needs an integrated approach for data quality and data governance. And preferably within one central solution (think the full cake), so that data across multiple domains no longer needs to be exchanged through an integration solution. A change in the customer data model with an effect on product can be directly validated with the product data model.