The Other MDM Market: Heard of This?

When it comes to MDM, many of the experts I know talk about Mobile Device Management. But in recent months, I've spent considerable time learning about Master Data Management -- which is central to corporate compliance, governance, big data and overall business management.

The latest step in that journey: I spent this week at MDM & Data Governance Summit in San Francisco, where a few hundred data scientists and information managers explored best practices for overall data management. This cuts across all verticals and business sizes.

Here are two simple examples:

  • Enterprise: Imagine you have a supply chain with retail stores across the US and Europe. Then, you acquire a Canadian retailer with similar products in Canada. All of your locations sell the same widget... but the product codes are different in Canada because of that M&A deal. 
  • Small Business: You own two Pizza Parlors. One is in a high-income neighborhood and includes a full menu. The other is in a middle-income neighborhood and features nothing but pizza. But your point-of-sale product key codes at location A are different from your POS product key codes at Location B. Even the Pizza codes and Pizza Prices -- same product, different location -- are different. It's extremely difficult for employees to work a few days at Location A and then shift a few days later to Location B because all the product codes, prices, etc., are different. Even worse, as you work with suppliers -- sauce, cheese, meats, etc. -- you're essentially doing double-work, checking inventories and supply needs twice across different code bases. The worst part: You can't get discounted economies of scale -- high-volume pricing -- very easily. 

MDM Experts

How do you get a complete view of your data sets, develop some best practices, clean up the information and monetize the data? That's what MDM -- master data management -- is all about. No doubt, many businesses are struggling with the MDM process. And that's why Information Management and the MDM Institute hosted this week's conference in San Francisco.

For a look at some MDM best practices, check out these 8 Objectives for Your MDM Strategy -- based on a presentation from Cargill Data Management Lead Brad Williams (sharp guy). 

Within Our Business

Here at After Nines Inc., Amy Katz and I have been taking MDM -- master data management -- to heart as we consider new ways to scale our own business.

Of course, we want to avoid data silos as our own systems grow. But a few silos will pop up because of all the cloud apps we use. It's unavoidable. Amid that reality, we want to use standard terms to describe our data sets -- in a consistent way -- across all those silos.

Simply put: We want one comprehensive view of you. MDM may give us that view...

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