With BI, Devil Is in the Data Quality

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Data quality is, in many ways, a factor that can make or break business intelligence efforts.


A recent survey from Intel and SAP highlighted the strong need for better data, with 57 percent of companies admitting they lack a strategic plan for governing BI and just 4 percent saying they are "very satisfied" with their company's data integration efforts.


So it makes sense to us that vendors, analysts and others are promoting master data management as a way to improve BI. Intelligent Enterprise, for example, recently made MDM one of its annual BI "megatrends."


Yet, as so often is the case, the market is not keeping up with expectations.


This DMReview article notes parallels in the current market for MDM and the market for CRM in 2001. In both cases, only the largest companies can/could afford it, and the technology is/was still largely a collection of components, according to ARC Advisory Group.


While many companies are interested in MDM as a way to improve data quality, a good portion of them are still wrestling with more basic BI tasks, such as rolling out data warehouses and updating their reporting systems, says this Enterprise Systems article.


A systems analyst for a small company quoted in the article says MDM is "not on our BI radar."


A possible MDM alternative -- at least for manufacturing companies -- is partner relationship management. Though not as robust as full-fledged MDM, PRM can nonetheless help manufacturers analyze their customers' needs, according to this destinationCRM.com article


The next logical step, says a Forrester Research analyst quoted in the article, is progressing to MDM, which can add insights about top suppliers, biggest business risks and best opportunities for up-selling.