10 Critical Myths and Realities of Master Data Management
Prevalent myths surrounding MDM alongside an explanation of the realities.
When organizations talk about the benefits of master data management, the focus is usually on the data and improved business intelligence.
But now, organizations are starting to cite a different reason for investing in MDM: improved business processes and better performance management. In a recent Gartner survey of 300 end-user organizations attending the research firm's MDM Summit, 49 percent said process improvements are the key business priority driving interest in MDM.
It can be a bit tricky to understand the connection between MDM and business process management (BPM), which is what is really being discussed here. The TechTarget article covering the Gartner findings provides this example:
Suppose that HealthNow decided to outsource its claims processing business but still wanted to maintain complete control of its data for security and regulatory compliance purposes. A comprehensive MDM program would make it easier for the company to make business process changes around the claims processing operation.
The piece further complicates the discussion by adding how MDM and BPM impact CPM - corporate performance management - which I'm 95 percent sure used to be called business performance management. That's a lot of expensive, heady, three-letter acronyms.
To be fair, this is cutting-edge stuff, here. So if you read all that and think, "Wow, we're nowhere near that point," you're not alone. Few organizations have mature solutions in either MDM, BPM or CPM and even fewer organizations have all three in place, Gartner notes.
In fact, as BPM expert and Column 2.0 blogger Sandy Kemsley pointed out in an interview last fall, vendors are just now exploring how to support integration between MDM and BPM.
Still, you can see how it might work. After all, it's bound to be easier to change and manipulate the processes once you've pulled out and secured the data in MDM's separate "safe" house. Plus, on the technology side, MDM encourages consistent data models, which makes BPM easier in the long run.
For more on how BPM and MDM work together, and how that impacts data integration, check out my October interviews with Kemsley: