In 2003, customer data hub (CDI), product information management, and master data management (MDM) vendors strived to differentiate themselves by architectural style. Each approach had its advantages and disadvantages. A religion about styles emerged overnight along with a hard core following. Here’s a quick recap (see Figure 1):
Figure 1. The Three Architectural Styles of Master Data Management
The bottom line - choose a style that aligns with your project’s business driver
While these approaches still exist, leading vendors such as D&B Purisma, IBM, Initiate Systems, Oracle, Oracle-Siebel, SAS DataFlux, and Siperian now have offerings in more than one style. This may make the question seem less relevant, however, its still important to understand the trade-offs while beginning your MDM journey. In fact, it’s best to align the style and approach based on your business driver. Here’s a high level summary:
- Cross-referenced registry delivers rapid results for operational efficiency business drivers. This approach is best suited for rapid implementation scenarios such as POC’s that prove the value of master data. Also valuable when data can not be stored on-site. Pro’s: Rapid implementation without having to agree on a common enterprise data model. Utilize existing source systems. Con’s: Deduplication of source systems not addressed. Data quality must be solved in each independent source system.
- Hybrid harmonized reference enables compliance and regulatory business drivers. This approach allows the best of both worlds, especially when moving to a transactional operational data store is not politically feasible and data governance and stewardship activities are just starting up. Pro’s: Single master copy of reference data. Uses links to access source system records. Model allows data quality efforts to be applied to shared master reference data. Con’s: Synchronization with source systems can create some complexity if changes are not made in the hub.
- Transactional operational data store supports strategic business drivers. This approach provides a long term path for how legacy applications utilize data. Pro’s: Single master copy of data. No fussing with latency or synchronization issues. Minimal mapping issues. Con’s: Requires an agreed upon common enterprise data model to be used by all applications. History must be harmonized and requires extensive key mapping. Assumes homogeneity and requires tons of ETL and dedupe.
Which MDM style are you deploying? What successes have you seen? Post your thoughts or send me a private email to [email protected].