Monday’s Musings: Master Data Management - Do Styles of MDM Matter Anymore?

Figure 1.  The Three Architectural Styles of Master Data Management

Three Common Styles Of Master Data Management

The bottom line - choose a style that aligns with your project's business driver
While these approaches still exist, leading vendors such as D&B
Purisma, IBM, Initiate Systems, Oracle, Oracle-Siebel, SAS DataFlux,
and Siperian now have offerings in more than one style. This may make
the question seem less relevant, however, its still important to
understand the trade-offs while beginning your MDM journey.  In fact, it's best to align the style and approach based on your business driver.  Here's a high level summary:

  • Cross-referenced registry delivers rapid results for operational efficiency business drivers.
    This approach is best suited for rapid implementation scenarios such as
    POC's that prove the value of master data.  Also valuable when data can
    not be stored on-site.
    Pro's: Rapid implementation without having to agree on a common enterprise data model.  Utilize existing source systems.
    Con's: Deduplication of source systems not addressed.  Data quality must be solved in each independent source system.
  • Hybrid harmonized reference enables compliance and regulatory business drivers. This
    approach allows the best of both worlds, especially when moving to a
    transactional operational data store is not politically feasible and
    data governance and stewardship activities are just starting up.
    Pro's: Single master copy of reference data.  Uses links to
    access source system records.  Model allows data quality efforts to be
    applied to shared master  reference data.
    Con's: Synchronization with source systems can create some complexity if changes are not made in the hub.
  • Transactional operational data store supports strategic business drivers.  This approach provides a long term path for how legacy applications utilize data.
    Pro's: Single master copy of data.  No fussing with latency or synchronization issues.  Minimal mapping issues.
    Con's: Requires an agreed upon common enterprise data model to
    be used by all applications.  History must be harmonized and requires
    extensive key mapping.  Assumes homogeneity and requires tons of ETL
    and dedupe.

Your POV.

Which MDM style are you deploying? What successes have you seen?
Post your thoughts or send me a private email to

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.
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re: Monday’s Musings: Master Data Management - Do Styles of MDM

It seems to me that MDM is a technology focused activity that should be replaced by a Business Architecture approach. The problem is that the MDM is focused towards the data store but not towards the use of the data in the programs, the service interfaces, business rules, the business content and in the user presentation. A single enterprise ontology of business objects that implements a well-defined taxonomy of would then provide the data model for storage and archiving. Phew ... yup, there are quite a few technology chasms to cross. Today a change in the MDM requires further changes in many other places that have to synchronized in deployment. Anyone surprised that we don't have agility? SOA is not going to change that ...Alternatively you could work with the Papyrus WebRepository and get all that for free ....

re: Monday’s Musings: Master Data Management - Do Styles of MDM

Ray, saw your poll results trending toward the Hybrid style being well in front of the others. In looking at the difference between the Cross Reference and Hybrid Harmonized styles, I'm reminded of the simple, stage 1 implementations of Information-as-a-Service that were more common a couple of years ago (Cross Reference, in your taxonomy), vs the more comprehensive projects that have become more common lately. These are characterized by:1) An effort to define "a" canonical information model (master data model) - I put "a" in quotes because these are not simple "third normal form" one-size-fits-all models, but a managed approach to diversity that recognizes that even if there are multiple models of customer data, you want to manage what they are and how they relate to one another.2) Limited support for updates, so the information-access layer is not read-only, at least not for everything.Of course, not all Information-as-a-Service implementations put the data in memory, so for those that persist the integrated data, the differences from MDM are small.Does this make sense to you? Your poll results would appear to suggest that the same trend is happening in the broader MDM market, which I think partially overlaps IaaS - in that some IaaS implementations exist to provide master data, whereas many MDM implementations are not using SOA based means of accessing, transporting, or delivering information.

re: Monday’s Musings: Master Data Management - Do Styles of MDM

Read your blog. Interesting blog on which MDM style/approach to adopt based on the business needs. I have read about the various styles of MDM but how businesses will be using the different styles based on their requirement is still a new information to me. Thank for sharing the informtion.Please visit the following link to know Oracle CDH and Siebel UCM.