One Easy Method for Finding the Right MDM Vendor

Loraine Lawson
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Four Best Practices for Accelerating Time-to-Value of Master Data Management

Want to know how to figure out which master data management (MDM) solution is right for your company? Forrester analyst Michele Goetz offers a simple trick to separate the wheat from the chaff: Make the vendor speak specifically to your use case.

“This tests a vendor's competency to understand your business and their past experience or ability to meet your MDM objectives. This was the weakest aspect of the MDM evaluations across all vendors. ” Goetz writes in an Information Management post. “Push vendors to stick with your scenarios and not recraft their demonstrations to tell their own stories.”

Goetz also warns that complexity is a major challenge when you’re evaluating what’s called multiplatform MDM solutions, which can handle Big Data as well as traditional master data.

“Reading the proposal carefully is understood. But before that, if it seems too complicated, it probably is,” she warns. “Also watch for what is shown through slideware vs. the demo. How are models created? How are models linked together? How are they augmented and changed? How is MDM connected to big data?”

Goetz, along with Leslie Owens and Emily Jedinak, offered this and other take-aways from her research for Forrester’s recently released “The Forrester Wave™: Master Data Management Solutions, Q1 2014.” This is the first way to look at MDM since 2008, when the report looked at Customer Hub MDM. This report focuses on multiplatform MDM.

Generally, integration is a top issue during MDM discussions, but that’s not necessarily true for multiplatform MDM solutions, where the emphasis is on “orchestration over integration,” Forrester notes, adding:

The hype and early successes of big data has affected MDM in unexpected ways. …Organizations want to increase the utilization rate of data they currently have. However, they often run into consistency challenges due to highly federated data environments and conflicting data definitions across business units. Multiplatform MDM meets this challenge by addressing data governance, content, orchestration, and big data.

As you might expect, including only MDM solutions that deal with Big Data narrows the field somewhat, so the wave includes only IBM, Informatica, Oracle, SAP and Talend.

IBM and Informatica took the top position in the wave, ranking as leaders in terms of strategy and their current offering. SAP also ranked as a leader, though slightly below the first two. Oracle and Talend rank as contenders.

The report is available on Forrester’s site for $2,495 or you can do what I did and search for a free copy. I found mine through Talend, which is currently offering a free download, with basic registration. Other vendors are welcome to add their download links in the comments below.

If you’re not interested in multiplatform MDM, you might want to check out Gartner’s last magic quadrant report for product data and customer data.

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