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The Differences, and Similarities, between Operational MDM and Analytical MDM

by Andrew White  |  November 10, 2009  |  1 Comment

We finally published a note (see The Differences, and Similarities, between Operational MDM and Analytical MDM) that tries to get the bottom of this thorny issue.  It has taken a while, but it is worth it.  This should be “the” note that nails the key questions most users have asked over the last couple of years.

Operational MDM centers on assuring “single view” of master data in the core systems used by business users; it is where master data is created first; and it is often a common source of concern for many organizations since this is where poor (MDM) process integrity fails.

Analytical MDM centers on assuring “single view” of master data in the downstream data warehouse used most often to supply the data for a business intelligence (BI) solution.  We coined the term a few years ago to highlight the overlap (and differences) between the two environments even though “single view” seemed to be a common goal or requirement.

There are differences in what is called, “master data” in the two environments (hierarchy), and also a big difference in how “governance” is effected.  There are similarities in the use of some (not all) technology, most especially related to data quality and data transformation.

At our recent MDM Summit this topic was of great interest.  Hopefully we have provided “the” note that will close out most, if not all, of the open questions.  There were two other notes just published summarizing some common questions users shared regarding MDM.  Ted Friedman just published Q&A for Data Quality and Data Integration From Gartner’s 2009 Master Data Management Summit.  Don’t be mistaken – this is not all about technology; much of data quality is dependent on “context”; the reason why the data is used and the understanding the business user brings to the “question” has a huge impact on what the data means. 

And John Radcliffe published Q&A on Organizing for MDM From Gartner’s 2009 Master Data Management Summit in which he explores some of the issues related to the organizing for MDM.  Organizing for MDM is never too far from process, and governance, so these questions can get pretty complex, and very quickly. 

Want to meet and chat about all things MDM?  I will be at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development, & Integration Summit  in Las Vegas, NV, December 7th-9th

Gartner Application Architecture, Development, & Integration Summit

Category: analytical-mdm  data-integrationsynchronization  data-quality  mdm  operational-mdm  

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

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on The Differences, and Similarities, between Operational MDM and Analytical MDM


  1. […] I took a tricky little inquiry today from a large industrial organization – one that is representative of many similar questions from many different users.  Operational MDM denotes the emphasis of (MDM) process integrity as well as (master) data quality, “up stream” in the core business applications used by business users.  Traditionally “Finance MDM” or mastering of hierarchy data and ledger/account data, for use in “down stream” or reporting systems has been equated to “analytical MDM”.  This use case of MDM has technology similarities to operational MDM, but there is no focus on (master data) process integrity, only on data quality.  I wrote on the differences between operational MDM and analytical MDM previously. […]



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