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Blog: Jill Dyché Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

April 2008 Archives

In which Jill welcomes Informatica, heretofore standing on the porch eyeing the canapes, into the MDM party.

Sometimes, schedule-wise, it's either feast or famine. You've been there. You RSVP to your spouse's colleague's wedding, only to find out that a really close buddy is having a "Welcome Spring!" party, complete with on-site facials and Orange Velvet martinis. Damn!

I'd been mildly miffed that I couldn't go to Informatica World in Vegas. I'd been on their board of advisors in the past, and have presented at the conference for the last several years. But this year the Data Governance conference came calling and I'm booked that week. And now that Informatica is officially in the MDM space, I'm downright vexed that I'll miss the party.

Yes, Informatica just added identity resolution to its functional portfolio with the acquisition of Identity Systems, making it a bona-fide MDM player. Informatica has danced with MDM in the past, a few years ago buying a stake in Purisma (recently acquired by D&B) and partnering with other vendors offering MDM functionality, most notably Oracle and Teradata.

Don't get me wrong--identity resolution doesn't an MDM product make. But reconciling disparate information into a common identifier by applying sophisticated algorithmic processing is a core component. In our CDI book we describe eight core functions of MDM processing (see Chapter 7), and explain that most robust MDM solutions provide:

  • A single point of data retrieval

  • Consistent value representation

  • An accurate and repeatable means of matching and merging data

  • A repository of clean, reliable data

  • Support of multiple data sources

Identity Systems arguably has a story to tell for each of these capabilities. Evan and I gave the keynote at the company's Horizons '07 user event in New York last October and found the audience a sophisticated group with high-impact business problems. Anti money laundering? No problem! Person-of-interest recognition, anyone?

Ivan Chong, General Manager of Informatica's Data Quality business unit agrees. "Identity resolution is not MDM, but it is an important component of any MDM technology stack," Ivan says. "The highly scalable and cross language search and match provided by Identity Systems has become the de-facto standard for identity resolution within MDM as well as CDI and CRM applications via OEM agreements with Oracle, Siperian and Purisma (D&B) and for customers building their own applications requiring matching."

The acquisition is another testimonial to the value of MDM functionality to vendors' incumbent product features. (Microsoft's acquisition of Stratature last June was the bellweather for this.) As with Microsoft, not only does Informatica offer MDM functionality to the market, its promise is as much in improving Informatica's core set of functions as it is adding to the solutions suite.

MDM capabilities often serve as core functional components for a range of technology processing, from de-duplication to rules management and beyond. Informatica will benefit from this core functionality that can pervade the company's different product offerings.

It's a fact of business that trusted and authoritative information is still largely unavailable when and where it's needed. Integration of data with applications remains fraught. Informatica offers data linage and audit tracking, data migration services, data quality and metadata, and now identity resolution. They're not only at the MDM party, they're moving from room to room as a well-dressed VIP. Cheers!

Technorati tag: Informatica, Identity Systems, Master Data Management, MDM, Customer Data Integration

Posted April 22, 2008 11:55 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

In which Jill makes an exciting announcement about Baseline's executive leadership team.

As a consultant, I've always believed that it's easier to think outside the box when you're, well, outside the box. Baseline is announcing its new Vice President of Marketing, Tamara Dull. Tamara is definitely an outside-the-box thinker, and I can't wait for what that brings.

How I know Tamara is a long story. Let's just say that it has to do with my CRM book, Tom Siebel, and my favorite flavor of ice cream.

Tamara brings over 20 years of technology services experience. She has held positions in software development, enterprise consulting, Oracle training, and corporate management at Digital Equipment Corporation and Aris Corporation. Most recently, she provided key product management and marketing leadership for Noetix Corporation, a software provider that automatically generates business intelligence (BI) content from enterprise applications. Her technology expertise and market understanding has helped numerous companies--in the financial services, aerospace, retail, technology, government and non-profit sectors--develop data management strategies and tools that meet organizational requirements.

Tamara is also the executive vice president of Semper Vita, a non-profit organization focused on missional connectivity in the local community. She writes an award-winning blog. In short, she gets BI. And data integration, MDM, and other data-centric initiatives that help our client companies drive growth. I'm so excited to get to work with her.

Baseline's clients are forward thinkers who don't have a lot of time for big-named brands and a lot of the BI blah, blah, blah. Tamara is going to help us continue a substantive conversation about the business value of integrated data. Stay tuned. We'll be doing some Big Stuff.

Technorati tags: Tamara Dull, Noetix, Baseline Consulting, SemperVita

Posted April 17, 2008 7:02 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

In which Jill reminds her peeps about the webcast she's doing with TDWI's Wayne Eckerson, where they'll recall Lessons Learned from the MDM Insight conference. Seriously, you should register.

Hey! Wayne Eckerson and I are doing a webcast this coming Tuesday, April 15, titled, Lessons Learned from MDM Early Adopters: Reflections from TDWI's MDM Insight conference. We're going to talk about, er...what people talked about at the conference. Wayne and I were co-chairs of the event and, as regular readers of the Jillblog will recall, attendees were raving about the event. Our webcast probably won't get that kind of buzz, but you never know.

Register here:


Technorati tag: MDM, MDM Insight, Master Data Insight, Master Data Management

Posted April 12, 2008 2:16 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

In which Jill explains that MDM isn't an all-or-nothing proposition, and offers further reading material on the topic.

At the recent MDM Insight conference in Savannah, Georgia, I had the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with conference attendees. I asked everyone I sat with whether they felt their companies were doing MDM at any level already. The answers were interesting.

"We have a product master on our ERP system," said a data manager from a medical equipment firm. "Is that MDM?"

"We have a reference index," said someone from a high-tech firm. "It tells systems where the data is. But it's kludgy. It doesn't really integrate the data."

"We have metadata," said a business analyst from a pharmaceutical company. "Can we leverage it for MDM?"

It was interesting to hear stories of how companies had tried to enable pieces of MDM in bite-sized chunks, only to confront the reality that the small components of MDM don't really solve the entire problem of reconciling and integrating disparate master data on behalf of the enterprise. So these companies live with random acts of MDM in the hope that someone can enhance them as full-blown solutions.

Of course, that rarely happens. Unless you position MDM as a bona-fide initiative in its own right, you're never likely to get the business support, never mind the funding, that you need in order to deliver integrated master data.

That's not to say that you can't start with basic MDM functionality and evolve it. Indeed, there are different levels of MDM maturity. At what stage is your company on the MDM continuum? Download The Baseline on MDM: Five Levels of Maturity for Master Data Management and find out.

Technorati tags: MDM, master data management, MDM maturity model, metadata, MDM methodology

Posted April 4, 2008 7:59 AM
Permalink | 3 Comments |