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JUN 5, 2014 5:00am ET

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MDM: Highly Recommended, Still Misunderstood

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Master data management is a hot topic. And, this is at times surprising to me because the noise of big data is deafening. Big data is certainly sexier. MDM is like mom nagging to clean up the room - necessary, but a total buzz kill.

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MDM

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Comments (7)
Ah, so you are using the acronym MDM to specifically mean software from a vendor - that was not clear at the outset of this article. MDM to us is a strategy, a part of which is software to perform some of the capabilities. Ambiguity of ROI is the hurdle for the entire strategy - not just the tool.
Posted by Steven B | Thursday, June 05 2014 at 7:54AM ET
Recommend also reading...including two comments: "The Misunderstanding of Master Data Management" @ http://bit.ly/1pTT0jR
Posted by Peter P | Thursday, June 05 2014 at 11:34AM ET
Steven: How I wish everyone was at your evolved state - strategy before tool. Thus the point. The fact that MDM is first identified as a gap and positioned in a reference architecture almost surely sets up MDM to be a technology decision vs a strategic decision. It begs the question, are you implementing an MDM tool to solve the IT problem, or are you doing it to solve the business need? Can't get to ROI from the bottom up.
Posted by michele g | Thursday, June 05 2014 at 12:30PM ET
The business case for MDM is a chicken and egg problem. As you pointed out the ROI is ambiguous, but then without ROI you cannot get approvals for strategy execution. Couple of possible options to address that issue (in absence of an executive sponsor who is sold to managing data right way) - try to align with existing business operational dashboard and identify a few metrics where the needle can be moved a little - try to align as foundational aspect to other enterprise wide business initiatives
Posted by Arindam S | Wednesday, June 11 2014 at 4:48PM ET
Really disappointed with this article. To the casual reader not deeply versed in Information and Data Management practice, it would clearly come across that "MDM" means - and ONLY means - "MDM Software System." This core mistake is still being made by so many companies and people.

That's ambiguous at best, disingenuous at worst. Master Data Management is a mindset, a culture, an approach, a process - how you execute that agenda may, or may not be supported by a specific MDM system.

Perhaps Forrester's perspective is being skewed by their relationship with the major product vendors who subscribe to be included in the Wave analysis? (or is that just too cynical a view?!)

Regardless, context is everything, and this article does nothing to set it. Poorly framed pieces like this let the readership down - and ultimately contribute to giving the whole Information Management sector a bad rep.

Must do better, Information-Management.com

Posted by Alan D | Monday, June 16 2014 at 7:37PM ET
Any ideas on how to show ROI? or is ROI always ambigous?
Posted by Richard B | Thursday, June 26 2014 at 5:37PM ET
Where is the "like" button, Alan D? You're comments are spot on that Master Data Management is a mindset, a culture an approach, a process...which is why it's a difficult solution to implement.

If it was "just" a software application that required only IT support, we'd see a higher success rate!

Posted by Mary Lynn E | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 4:12PM ET
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