Andrew White

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Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a research vice president and agenda manager for MDM and Analytics at Gartner. His main research focus is master data management (MDM) and the drill-down topic of creating the "single view of the product" using MDM of product data. He was co-chair… Read Full Bio

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Nice webinar on MDM and Data Governance by EDWWS…..but some issues

by Andrew White  |  April 24, 2013  |  3 Comments

I did walk through the webinar (“EDWWS Slides: Maximizing the Value of MDM with Data Governance”) sides and I thought to myself, “yes pretty good.  Can’t argue with that.  We draw it slightly differently.  Yes, pretty good.”  That was until I reached slide 18 of 32.  I saw this graphic:

 

This is part of the education problem we are seeing more of today in the industry.  MDM includes a Governance element.  As shown, the author perceives MDM to be about data management, and MDM is not – was not – ever – about that.  We can do all that is listed on the right side of the slide  – and have been – for many years!!!!  That is not why we even have MDM today.  It is (among other things) that governance was needed.  So the author clearly has a different view to ours – and this difference comes across in subtle ways in the deck.

Unfortunately this kind of thinking is part of the reason why some end user organizations are struggling.  They are thinking that MDM is a technology or data issue, and that they need to “add” governance.  It isn’t an MDM program if that program does not have a governance element!  It is just a data management project (again).  This is why “MDM” is getting a bad name – in a few places.

Though you might think this is a nit, the impact is significant.  As I read through the rest of the slides, I again did like much of the content but where and how it aligns to “MDM” and so the business, differs from what we see in successful implementations.  The difference in our views is not necessarily fatal for your program by the way; everyone one us want to make progress here.  But the enthusiastic rush to adopt the latest new toy means many (users, vendors, consultants, standards bodies) are “adding MDM to their slides” without really understanding it.  It’s natural, I guess.  History tells us that as ideas get abused, and their purity is sullied, we have to create new ones to “try again”…

And I will say that I liked the growing emphasis and correct perspectives on the role of data stewardship in the slides.  Though not as broad or as specific as our information so far, this is good to see.  This is another, truly exciting development in the industry.  One that will grow and change and become very important for many organizations.

Now, what I should say is that Information Governance can ALSO apply to other data, not just master data – so therefore (Information) Governance and MDM are not the same – but they DO overlap  – intersect.  So I can still draw the slide above with the two columns – but what is in the slide would be very different.

As usual, caveat emptor.

3 Comments »

Category: Data Governance Governance     Tags:

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MDM in a UX perspective | The geeks will inherit the world   April 28, 2013 at 3:39 am

    [...] Nice webinar on MDM and Data Governance by EDWWS…..but some issues (blogs.gartner.com) [...]

  • 2 Kelle O'Neal   April 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Andrew – Thanks so much for viewing the webinar and more importantly writing about it! I very much agree with your perspective and Gartner (and you, of course) has been one of the key promoters that MDM is actually about a process of mastering your data, not a tool or technology. The goal of the presentation was to address the relationship between MDM and DG at a very tactical and practical level, understanding that the audience was a technical group who may already have the view that MDM is a technology. I guess this didn’t entirely come across and will myself listen to it again to make sure that the voice-over does address this, although the slides (or a single slide) may or may not. Thank you again! Kelle

  • 3 I’m having a good week critiquing vendors – here’s another one – IntoTrellis   April 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    [...] MDM did not include an element of information governance; as if MDM was a technology only.  See Nice Webinar on MDM and Data Governance by EDWWS…but some issues.  This has never been our view – so I had to call it [...]