JUN 6, 2012 10:03pm ET

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MDM Earns its Stripes


The bigger the IT plan, the more fragile it can seem when times are uncertain. So with domestic politics in the air, Europe on the edge and geopolitics raging, it’s a little comforting to be gathering evidence that the master data management projects we often saw derailed in 2008 are holding steady right now.

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Comments (2)
As the data architect on a data warehouse team, I was interested to see what evidence the author of this article had gathered to demonstrate the worth of MDM programs. After all, doesn't earning one's stripes imply having made a valuable contribution? How disappointing to discover little more than a vague suggestion that "Lots of people are spending lots of money on MDM, so it must be good," which rather reminds me of a saying about your friends and the Brooklin Bridge. The only "hard evidence" the article pointed to was projections by Gartner--projections!! Not realized ROI or measurable improvements in master data. Just projections. And the article didn't even say what was being projected.

Apparently, there is not much to say about MDM to indicate it has actually "earned its stripes." Perhaps the author has not seen where MDM is on the 2011 Gartner Data management Hype Cycle--headed down into the trough of disillusionment.

Posted by Andrew S | Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 4:25PM ET
I'm the author and thanks for the comment. I can agree with part of your view around MDM and if you search the topic and my name you'll quickly find examples. Failure was/still is embedded in wide swathes of MDM which is my reference to the stripes earned.

But failure doesn't explain the activity. Based on long term observation it's the returning investment to MDM that shows more maturity, a cost of competing versus a silver bullet that led to the commentary. The point of Gartner hype cycles is that once the hyperbole wears off and disillusionment arrives, the curve either disappears or starts moving back up.

Over time it's the rise of governance that signifies intent. To me, it's a measure of business voting with dollars, and does not diminish the hard lessons of MDM that are not all behind us or the risks to those who underestimate the challenge.

Posted by Jim E | Thursday, June 14 2012 at 12:25PM ET
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