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Forrester: Enterprises Aren’t Masters of Their Data Domains

By Dom Nicastro | Mar 21, 2016

For the full article visit http://www.cmswire.com/information-management/forrester-enterprises-arent-masters-of-their-data-domains/

Enterprises do a poor job of mastering their data — and that failure makes it difficult to personalize marketing and create a single view of the customer, Forrester analysts conclude in a report on master data management.

Goetz, a principal analyst serving enterprise architecture professionals, told CMSWire enterprises often fail to anticipate change and revisions of master data over its data lifecycle. They also strip away facts that provide context about customers and products.

Vendor Landscape

This brings us to the vendors in Forrester’s Wave. According to Forrester’s breakdown:

  • Reltio, Informatica, SAP, IBM and Pitney Bowes are leaders (IBM, SAP and Informatica were leaders in the 2014 Wave)
  • Tibco Software, SAS, Orchestra Networks, Liaison Technologies and Magnitude Software offer competitive options
  • Talend and Teradata lag behind

“At a minimum,” Goetz told CMSWire, “they are all able to scale across complex ecosystems, managing, integrating, orchestrating and syndicating master data and models/schemas.”

It’s the enterprises themselves, Goetz said, that create the roadblocks. Not the vendors.

Forrester’s discussions with vendors and customers shows a lack of data governance and stewardship expertise along with a lack of preparation on what the MDM tool needs to manage master data.

“No definitions, models, schemas, data policies and business rules/standards are defined prior to purchase,” Goetz said. “This can add three to six months to a project. Implementation can be straight forward with a system integrator/consultant.”

Almost all implementations are done with a partner, she added. Organizations that put effort into the upfront data governance and subject-matter experts will have a better chance of successful MDM implementation. “Most organizations are immature in this area and lack even an understanding of who the data owners and stewards should be,” Goetz said. 

New Kids in Town

The newcomers to the leaderboard handle context at scale, Goetz said. 

“They are managing the physical, logical and semantic models in unison,” she added. “Reltio and Pitney Bowes have graph databases as their repository that allow master data models to include more metadata for rich context. The graphs also provides additional flexibility in managing multiple domains in unison and natively rather than setting up separate domain models.”

Their created environments thrive, she said, on high fidelity and deep data linkage allowing organizations to both set MDM definitions and continue to expand and evolve these definitions as more context is infused. 

“Additionally, machine learning is becoming part of the MDM solution to interpret and infer the domain models from the data sources,” Goetz said. “This gets MDM up and running more quickly and helps evolve the domain models continuously as data changes or new sources are added.”

Goetz said she was surprised in her MDM research by the number of vendors that have introduced knowledge graphs to visualize master data models and linkage.

“I was delighted,” she added, “to see that some of those vendors also took the next steps to allow changes of the master data and the models through the knowledge graph.”

Manish Sood, CEO at Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Reltio, said in a statement that“Forrester’s research “echoes the demands of enterprises today, emphasizing that reliable data is a core foundation to bring any business vision to reality.”

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