Gartner Research

Master Data Management (MDM): A Pivotal Process

Published: 12 December 2008

ID: G00203631

Analyst(s): Joe Bugajski


Master data management (MDM) returns IT organizations to their roots--the management of information. With MDM, IT again delivers careful controls for critical business information: lists of customers, products, suppliers, and business activity codes--the master data. This includes not only data definitions (master metadata) but also valid data values. Business exigencies and regulations demand reexamination of data management fundamentals. Thus, MDM gives IT organizations an opportunity to repair mistakes and deliver revenue improvements and cost reductions. In this Data Management Strategies overview, Senior Analyst Joe Bugajski concludes that MDM is a pivotal process for every IT organization.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Master Data Defined
  • Master Data Is a Mess
    • Hard Lessons (Not) Learned
    • IT Vendors to the Rescue
    • Risks Associated with Bad Master Data
    • Anti-Master Data and No Management
  • The MDM Process
    • Simple MDM
    • Local MDM Architectural Style
    • Federated MDM Architectural Style
  • A Complete MDM System Architecture
  • MDM Middleware Market
    • MDM Is a Good Fad
    • MDM Equals . . . Data Quality, Data Integration, and Database
    • Unfortunately, Not Too Much That Is New Here
  • Recommendations
    • Start Now
    • Master MDM
    • Govern Master Data

The Details

  • MDM Architectural Styles
    • Simple-MDM
    • Local-MDM
    • Federated MDM
  • General Form of MDM System Architecture
    • Development and Governance Tools and Utilities
    • Master Data Definitions
    • Data Quality Processes
    • MDM Services Management
    • MDM Utility Services
  • Model Master Data
  • Sample of MDM Products



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