Is linking master data and transactional data a growing MDM trend?

Find out if linking master data and transactional data is a growing master data management (MDM) trend, and see what our MDM expert thinks of so-called MDM Lite solutions.

Hi, Jill. I wanted to find out if you’re seeing any trends in the master data management marketplace where customers are finding the need to link master data and transactional data to create an “MDM Lite” solution that allows them to master relevant information objects – thus providing agility and flexibility to the whole idea of master data?

I used to be a hard-liner when it came to building the wall between master (reference) data and transactional data. But I have indeed seen some clients blurring these lines. I think the issue here is why you’re mastering the data in the first place. What I find is that at companies that emphasize linking master data with transactional data, the root cause is really the need for more data management rigor around the analytic data in their data warehouses. When we’re talking about pure MDM -- if there is such a thing -- most companies are still looking at MDM products as a way of reconciling common reference data (i.e., descriptive information that occurs frequently across business processes) from heterogeneous data sources.

When clients ask for what you call an “MDM Lite” solution, this usually turns out to be slicing a very narrow (yet high-profile) subject area and deploying the master data. Consumer packaged goods companies mastering their product data in order to making pricing and SKU information more consistent across catalogs is one example of this. In such cases, very specific and narrow master data -- product prices and identifying details -- can produce a very solid return on investment (ROI). Thanks for the question.

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