I had no presentations today but I had a near full schedule of 1-1s and inquiries (clients offsite). One question that popped up in several vendor 1-1s this event concerned Master Data Management and Big Data:
- What is the impact of MDM on Big data or big data on MDM?
- What is the connection between the two
- What is the vision for MDM and big data?
Timing is everything – we (my colleague Dan Sholler and I) just published a predict that covers this topic: Through 2016, 25% of organizations using consumer data will face reputation damage due to inadequate understanding of information trust issues.
The bottom line is that short term, the link between MDM and big data is tenuous and weak. There is today a rush towards the exploitation of big data for a fast buck is alluring and very likely to attract a lot of investment from IT shops and their business partners. And this will continue for some time, until a couple of major situations flair up, akin to the trust issue with rogue Face Book account and the recent Chik-fil-A PR mess:
- Did Chick-fil-A Pretend to Be a Teenage Girl on Facebook?”, July 25, 2012, and later
- 83 million Facebook accounts are fakes and dupes, August 2, 2012
In exploring this Predict, Dan and I (along with our peer group of analysts) looked at a stress point: some companies will rush ahead and use big data solutions, in the apparent search for competitive advantage. Others will wait. Eventually the rush will come up against the reality that much data is untrusted, and certainly not governed by the organization using it. Many times this wont deter investment and first mover advantage. But someone, somewhere ,will fall foul to the use of some untrusted data and it will be headlines news. More likely it will cause economic or financial harm that is measurable. That that point, other organizations will re think, again, about information trust (and its pre cursor, MDM), and this the circle will be complete.
As with many other technologies, we over estimate the short term, and underestimate the long term impacts. With Big data, we are over estimating its short term benefits, but once firms get a firm grip on MDM, information governance, and managing trust, the long term impacts and benefits will be significant.
One 1-1 was quite interesting since I met a user that had not even heard of MDM until yesterday – due to him sitting in my session. Even better, he was torn between attending Ted Friedman’s big data pitch and mine, and he chose mine!
His question was very important: Since I just learned about MDM, I want to know if it is relevant to my business? We spent some time exploring this business, how it operates, and how its core business data flows and is governed across his primary business applications. Turns out his organizations are doing a lot of MDM already – and didn’t even know what to call it! That was awesome – especially since it proves that you don’t need to spend $2M on an MDM solution to do MDM (though in some cases you might need to). We ended the 1-1 with a new realization: there was part of his business, focused on resources (nurse practitioners) are aligned to cases (patients), across provisioning, scheduling and billing. So there was, after all, one exploration to do to figure out of a newly named MDM program needs to be expanded.
The last 1-1 of the day was to die for! I met a user from another healthcare scenario that reported that her organization had been working on MDM for several years, and that it has been “painful”. Some experienced users, who had sponsored the section of a registry based best of breed MDM solution had left; and the remaining users since discovered some of the weaknesses and limitations to a registry bound MDM solution, when your business needs have moved towards a more centralized approach. Ooops.
But that was not the highlight of the 1-1. The highlight was that this user drew on a piece of paper, unprompted by me, the need for a separate (to MDM) information stewardship application!
And better, her business users had seen what this vendor has demoed recently, and they had concluded that it was way short of meeting their known requirements (let along being visionary) and no business user felt able to use the offering. Double opps.
And this leads me to my new idea that came to me yesterday. See next blog.