Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. As a new analyst with Gartner, I’m excited to use this platform to solicit your input on all things related to MDM and Data Governance. This blog is a perfect vehicle for you to interact with me, and your peers, on topics that might otherwise not be covered in our formal Gartner research. This is also a great way to ‘seed’ important issues that potentially should garner additional Gartner coverage.
With that thought in mind, my inaugural blog is focused on the evolutionary forces that are having disruptive impacts on the markets for MDM software and several adjacent markets. MDM platforms are embracing a broader set of technologies around matching and data governance that are increasingly blurring the lines that distinguish MDM software from other platforms – especially CDP’s. (I touched on this in a recent research note about the similarities and differences between MDMs and CDPs for C360). The biggest shifts in the MDM market include, but aren’t limited to:
– The growing use of graph and AI/ML technologies to assist in the automation of data quality and governance processes used by MDM software such as profiling, cataloging, lineage/process mapping, and relationship mapping, where these processes are increasingly run against large, non-relational data stores.
– The increasing use of graph in big data environments for entity resolution, where the strength of relationships between nodes are a proxy for the match confidence levels generated by MDM’s through compute-intense probabilistic algorithms. The rapid growth of data volumes that MDM’s are expected to master is pushing MDM vendors towards these more flexible matching paradigms.
– The idea that a gold master record could be created at ‘run time’, where that master record may not even technically be even persisted in a centralized hub – yet still be used in multiple applications and fit the definition of a true master.
– The explosive growth of MDM deployments in the cloud, where the historical limitations imposed by on-prem hardware on the amount of data that could be matched in a hub are evaporating. The move to the cloud is certainly not a new phenomenon, but what’s interesting here are the additional features / services could eventually be developed by MDM vendors who are running cloud-native multi-tenant data platforms. ‘Governance as a Service’ and several other such services come to mind.
If entity resolution, hierarchy/relationship management, and the generation of gold master records are the ‘foundation’ of the MDM house, then it’s a foundation that is increasingly shared with other technologies. This raises interesting questions about the nature of the MDM market – including the potential convergence of MDM platforms with other platforms and increasing competitive pressure on MDM vendors. Thanks to the push to the cloud, these convergences could even extend outside the software world and into areas such as master or reference data as a service.
What do you think? I am eager to hear your thoughts.