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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I’m having a good week critiquing vendors – here’s another one – InfoTrellis

by Andrew White  |  April 30, 2013  |  Comments Off

10 days I ago I took aim a vendor webinar that, I thought, poorly represented how 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 out.

Today I received a newsletter from InfoTrellis.  The note is filled with lots of good anecdotes and links to sites with stories about information and its uses and abuses – good for big data stuff too.

But the main article, called, “What You May Be Missing By Not Monitoring Your MDM Hub” grabbed my attention.  I saw the following:

After the completion and successful testing of the MDM implementation project, companies sit back and enjoy the benefits of their MDM hub – and more often than not don’t even think about looking under the hood. It never occurs to them that they could be trying to gain insights into what’s happening inside that MDM hub by asking questions like:

  • How is the data quality changing?
  • What are the primary activities (in processing time) inside the MDM hub?
  • How are service levels changing?

However, organizations change, people change, requirements change – impacting what is happening inside the MDM Hub. Such changes can open up significant opportunities for an organization – but without doing any sort of investigation that opportunity is typically not recognized.

As with my previous blog, this does not add up.  What on earth was the “MDM hub” trying to do if it was not supporting an ongoing, intrinsic, development of insight as to the health of the information driving (or inhibiting) business outcomes?  MDM requires a set of analytics focused on business outcomes, business process improvements, workflows, as well as data quality.  If the metrics are not established, and part of “how we do things (like MDM) around here”, then this is not an MDM program at all – it’s a traditional data integration hub.

I can forgive the vendor for positioning – we know they need to do that (I did that when I was a vendor) but I just had to call out this error in positioning.  Its another observation that MDM is so pervasive (as a topic) that its understanding, its hype, is firmly entrenched within the “trough of disillusionment” – a predictable stage of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Users need to be very wary of vendors with different and disparate definitions and positions on what MDM is meant to be.  Caveat Emptor…of course!

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