After all these years, master data management (MDM), so often the misunderstood and underappreciated stepchild of major IT initiatives, is alive and thriving within most organizations. Though still not sexy or exciting to most, MDM has consistently been a central part of so many key strategic projects and initiatives (data warehousing, customer relationship management (CRM), centralization, globalization, etc.) to a point that people have actually begun to realize and appreciate its value; Consistently, accurate master data across the enterprise is essential both to gaining better insights into the business as well as ensuring compliance from a regulatory perspective.

 

If you‘re shopping for an MDM solution, one product you should put on your list to evaluate is Siperian’s MDM Hub. There are a number of different MDM products out there, but Siperian provides a unique solution with something unavailable in most – a complete MDM package with total flexibility surrounding the data and sources you want to manage.

 

Siperian MDM Hub is a comprehensive, flexible MDM platform that can support virtually any MDM implementation regardless of the subject area or preferred architectural style. The key to this flexibility is metadata; Siperian is a metadata-driven, rules-based solution that allows you to configure a customized solution to meet your specific requirements. There is no imposed data model, no limit on the type or source of data and no restrictions on relationships between data. You can define any structure, add any field, define any relationship and maintain any kind of data. Simply stated, Siperian and some of their integration partners can and do provide standard industry data models as starters to avoid reinventing the wheel, but these are just launching points from which you can define your own customized solution to meet organizational needs.

 

A completely flexible data model sounds great, but you may be wondering, at what cost? Does all this flexibility translate into some limitation of basic, core MDM functionality? The answer, surprisingly, is no. Siperian provides a full suite of services to configure and manage your data (cleanse, match, merge, etc.) down to the field level. You can configure distinct and reusable cleanse/standardization functions, define automatic and manual match rules across structures using any field, and define different precedence (“trust,” in Siperian terms) settings per field to correspond with source field level data quality. Essentially, the Siperian model provides flexibility without compromising functionality.

 

Siperian also does a good job of integrating with other tools and technologies to create a complete end-to-end MDM solution. The most beneficial of these tools for customer master implementations is the ability to integrate with leading-name and address-cleansing tools such as Trillium and First Logic. Siperian also integrates with all extract, transform and load (ETL) and enterprise application integration (EAI) tools. The model for real-time data integration is functional and allows for integration with any EAI tool, but admittedly this is not the product’s strongest area.

 

Siperian’s flexibility has created a limitation in one area - the user interface. Providing the ability to define any data model also means there is no preset user interface. Siperian provides functionality to create views to maintain and reconcile data but very limited control over the presentation or screen flow. This is an area that Siperian is purported to be working on, but at the moment the user interface has the look-and-feel of a developer tool more than an end-user application and limited ability to implement complex business rules. The impact of this limitation depends on the kind of implementation and target data steward user audience. Minimizing the impact of this limitation, Siperian provides a complete, robust set of APIs that can be used to develop a custom user interface.

 

Product Strengths:

 

  • Flexibility and functionality.
  • Data history. Siperian retains a complete, readily accessible history of all changes to source and consolidated master data, an invaluable asset for analyzing changes in data.
  • Open APIs. Siperian provides a complete set of APIs for customization that gives access to all core functions that can significantly extend the capabilities of the solution.
  • Ease of configuration. Base configuration setup is easy to perform, with almost everything being point-and-click. More advanced work, such as customizing, tuning, etc., takes experience, but the basics are simple.

Product Weaknesses:

 

  • User interface.
  • Change management. Change management can be a difficult and cumbersome process, particularly for large-scale implementations. Siperian’s tools for managing code migration across environments are limited and can be demanding to use.
  • Debugging. As common with many products, debugging complex problems can be challenging. Root cause for process failures, performance problems or unexpected application results can be difficult to uncover, however, resolution is often straightforward with Siperian.

Notwithstanding some room to grow, Siperian is an innovative, leading product in the MDM software marketplace that provides a data governance framework that can truly help your organization master your data.

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