Master Data Management (MDM) is a discipline designed to make data more dependable, sharable and accessible. Here are some of IRI’s philosophies around MDM:
- Most developers believe that data are, or should be, application-independent. Master data supports that.
- Master data can be static. For example, the value of annual earnings; names of customers and countries, product SKUs, etc. Their attributes, however, can also be dynamic where customization of the value depends on a business factor. For example, when a given service offering changes based on customer entitlement or qualification.
- Most applications are developed one-by-one, and usually the goal is to get that job done as soon as possible. It therefore takes longer-term thinking to build applications that fit in with future jobs which may not have even been defined.
- It is difficult to retrofit the previous work to make the current work easier. When Job 2 is in development, who would risk going back to change a working Job 1? So Master Data Management for your organization is a work in progress. It is the application of existing standards to the current project, and the creation of new standards for future projects.
- MDM encompasses data that have proper values, that are represented in proper formats, and that are properly accessible. There should be repositories not only for the data, but for their masks.
- We do not determine what constitutes “proper” nor do we apply the rules unless directed. What we provide are the tools and services to allow you or us to carry out the rules your data authority deems to be proper.
- It doesn’t seem to make much sense to establish standards at the job level where developers focus on “speed of development” rather than building and conforming to formats and values for the jobs to come. A form of job security perhaps, but more likely that it isn’t clear that sharing would be useful until you got to the second job.
If your organization sees across applications, or is willing to retrofit, the tools and services that IRI offers around its MDM capabilities should be very desirable.