I was sent a link to a story in December, Winning over the MDM Chief Procurement Officer with MDM, (thanks Debbie) that I found interesting. The article is based on some vendor (Bristlecone Inc.) content (not always a bad thing), but the thing that I found most interesting was the source link referred to in this article (see Avoiding the Big Bang Backlash of MDM Implementations). Jessie Chimni, VP of North American Services for Bristlecone, wrote in his source article that MDM consisted originally of Product Information Management, and Customer Data Integration. Now why would I find this interesting?
Correctly, in my view, Chimni affirms that MDM had common roots in two different parts of the business: how to achieve single view of product, and customer. And when we say, “single view”, we don’t really mean that. We mean, “from a single source of master data, each user in context to the task at hand, can perceive the information in the way they need too” which really results in multiple views from one source. But we say colloquially, “single view” as its simpler.
But, you can tell about where a vendor comes from by the way they talk about MDM’s history. Too many relate MDM to CDI only, as if that were the source. Too few related MDM to PIM only. The reality is both are parts of MDM’s history. As PIM and CDI, these two technologies did start at different times, and in different industries, but they are part of MDM.
I read “Master Data Management and Customer Data Integration for a Global Enterprise” back in 2007, apparently an early MDM book, and found it to be severely wanting. It only talked about CDI, and the book clearly had been updated to take advantage of the MDM hype. Clearly, the authors did not have a complete understanding of what MDM was, and is. I wrote a book review and this was it:
“This is an interesting book on a hot new topic, Master Data Management. Only part of the book, the first 20% is legitimately MDM focused however – most is CDI. CDI is in affect MDM for the customer domain however when one talks about MDM there is a perception that you talk about the whole space, and when you talk about CDI you talk about that part of MDM that is specific to the customer data domain. Hence the book leaves you a tad empty. With CDI you get a good overview and update on the topic; with MDM you are left wanting. Certainly the content is good and valuable – well worth the read if your business is trying to achieve single view of customer across the enterprise. However, if you are trying to implement MDM you will need to go elsewhere.“
I would save your money and not bother with this book – but I do have a suggestion for you. A much better book, one that I am still working my way through, is IBM’s “Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information”. It’s long, and deep, and I have some issues with terminology and frameworks. But this is a much more up to date, and rounded view of MDM.