More companies are looking at how they can use external datasets to supplement their own systems, including master data.
This isn’t a new concept, of course. Companies have long bought access to data from companies such as Bloomberg, Lexis Nexus, Standard & Poor's and various industry-specific data. These types of data services have established reputations.
What is new in this trend to add external data: Organizations are focused on social media data, which is a bit more of a wild card when it comes to data quality and reliability.
One of the tools IT may use to solve this and other Big Data quality problems will be master data management, according to data management expert Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen.
“We are not going to see that these new opportunities and challenges will replace the old way of doing MDM," Liliendahl writes in an April post. “Integration of social data and other big data will add new elements to the existing component landscape around MDM solutions.”
That means MDM is going to be “more complicated than before,” he continues — a worrisome statement, given that MDM could be pretty darn complex in the first place.
The Fliptop Blog Marketing Hub recently conducted a five-question interview with Liliendahl focusing on social MDM. In it, he explains the two aspects of social MDM:
1. Using social services for maintaining master data, which may mean that you have a social collaboration feature on MDM tools that allow you to work with “an ecosystem of organizations within a given partnerships.” I take that to mean you’ll be able to collaborate with other divisions or business partners.
2. Using social network profiles to improve the completeness and timeliness of customer records, which means linking your “old system of record with new systems of engagement.” For a general idea of how that might work, Informatica published a video explaining how you might use social MDM to sell a customer more products.
“The main difference between MDM as it has been practiced until now and Social MDM is that traditional MDM has been around handling internal master data and Social MDM will be more around exploiting external reference data and sharing those data,” he says.
I keep hearing about social MDM - I even sat through one demo last year — but so far, there’s not the big push I would have anticipated. Then again, I’m not doing the convention circuit.
Social media data may mark a new trend toward using external data “from the wild,” so to speak, but it’s likely only the tip of the iceberg. Linked data on the Internet and open government data are both promising new sources for external data, as Liliendahl points out.
Liliendahl is really hitting the bricks on this topic. For a more detailed discussion with him about social MDM, check out this Q&A that ran in the Data Quality Pro Expert Journal.