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My “2014 theme” has emerged: Master Data Management is not Effectively Aligned with Business Value

by Andrew White  |  April 22, 2014  |  3 Comments

In 2013 I had a “theme” that summarized the whole year.  On stage at our worldwide Master Data Management summit’s I said that theme was “Making Information Governance Stick”, and I blogged on this from time to time.  In 2012 and 2013, a notable number of end users were struggling to embed the work of governance and stewardship in normal, day to day work of business users.  Many firms are continuing to struggle with this.  It is perhaps one of the major challenges of MDM and ANY information governance effort in this decade.

However, a new thread has formed in my mind from continuous pounding by end-user’s at 1-1 at summits, end-user client inquiry, and prospect sales call: we are not doing enough to align MDM to business value.

The sad part to this story is that many organizations are actually getting budget for MDM investment; they actually implement a technology, and then sit back and wait to see the magic happen.  Then of course it doesn’t.  They then find out that the work of MDM is too oriented on data quality, as if it alone will make things in the business work better.

Data quality is certainly a key aspect of MDM, but no MDM program should seek to address data quality just because IT thinks it should.  The only data quality that matters is that which is associated with business outcomes that are top of mind of the endiuser!  So the truth is that too many MDM programs are stuck focused on measuring and reporting data quality improvements, and are not yet tied to an explanation for how much of an improved business outcome should be monetized.

This is the second key theme for this decade that, for me, seems to explain why MDM as a whole remains firmly in the Trough of Disillusionment (in our Hype Cycle).

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Category: data-quality  master-data-management  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

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