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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!

February 2009 Archives

In which Jill asserts that--despite the economic downturn--MDM's time is now.

A couple weeks ago the BI and MDM communities were buzzing with the news that Sourcemedia had cancelled its MDM Summit in San Francisco. Hadn't anyone signed up? Was interest in MDM waning?  Now TDWI and its partner CrossTech have decided to postpone their Master Data Insight conference in Savannah. Last year the conference was sold-out, with a waiting list. What gives?

It's no news that money's tight right now. Airplanes are half-empty and LinkedIn invitations flood inboxes as people re-engage their networks. They're not traveling to conferences as much as they did last year. But could this be a reflection on MDM itself?

It's true that MDM is still in the "early adopter" phase, and that famous curve hasn't arched upward with the velocity of other hot IT trends. In our client work we're still doing a lot of MDM planning and executive level-setting. We find that the reason for slower, more deliberate MDM adoption is that people are still grappling with their own data integration paradigms. "We have CRM/a data warehouse/an ETL tool," they say. "Aren't we already doing MDM?"

The answer is, probably not. But the flashiest hierarchy management demo or high match-rate proof of concept can't convince an IT executive with entrenched paradigms that his company's systems aren't already sharing data effectively. The education process is simply longer and more deliberate with MDM. As I had planned on saying in my MDM Insight keynote, "This isn't your father's relational database." (Insert raucous laughter here.)

Actually the conference cancellations belie MDM's upward swing. Signups for MDM Insight were at-capacity. TDWI and its partner politely turned away last year's attendees, ready to welcome a whole new group of business and IT professionals poised to spend two days learning about MDM successes. But vendor sponsors--the lifeblood of most conferences--weren't where they were last year. The irony of vendors hunkering down while interest in MDM increases is a familiar one in this economy, but it shouldn't be a surprise. According to Sagecircle, Gartner canceled 18 conferences this year, and vendors and event companies alike are paring back their live events.

In hunkering down, the companies themselves are returning to the issues of their operational systems. This bodes well for MDM because in enhancing their operational systems, they'll still have data integration challenges. They'll still need to face the fact that each operational system has its own copy of the data. The survivor of the economic bust of the late 1990s was the ERP system. Every tough economic time challenges the paradigm of custom development.

Which means that MDM's time is right now.

So: we'll see you on-line in 2009!

Technorati tags: MDM, Master Data Insight, MDM Insight, TDWI MDM, MDM Assessment

Posted February 13, 2009 10:09 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

In which Jill invites you to suspend your hectic work schedule this Wednesday to listen in on the latest MDM buzz.

By now most people know two things about Master Data Management. One,  you can't just "install" MDM--you need to solve a problem with it. And two, that's easier said than done.

2008 taught us some important lessons about our MDM efforts. Companies began to transcend the "tire kicking" phase and actually perform proofs of concept. Some actually on-boarded multiple source systems and availed bona-fide operational data integration to the enterprise. What was cool was watching these companies come to terms with the organizational and skills implications of master data. Entire new teams and methodologies sprung up as a result of MDM in production. Headcounts were justified. Paradigms were shifted.

This Wednesday, February 4, Philip Russom and I will be doing a webcast for TDWI in which we'll discuss MDM trends. Philip will review some of his research in the areas of MDM and data governance, revealing some interesting intentions companies have around deploying their master data for the long-term and how it fits with BI.

My piece will focus on learnings from 2008 and trends for 2009. I've based my content on some of the conversations we've had with our clients this past year, and have actually quoted a few of them. When a Chief Marketing Officer tells you, "I'm honestly not sure whether IT really understands what we're trying to do as a business...so how do they know whether MDM is really the right answer?" it can set into motion a range of improvements to get a company ready for MDM. In t his case, we helped the IT organization formulate a series of use case scenarios to play back to the business. It defined new rules of engagement between IT and the business side, and set up conversations that will ultimately transcend MDM.  We'll talk about those and other knotty MDM conundrums on Wednesday.

Register here:


And while you're on TDWI's website, check out the MDM Readiness Assessment tool. It's a multi-disciplinary survey that will not only score your MDM readiness, but compare your scores to those of survey takers in your industry and give you tips for how to jump-start MDM. Take the survey here:


Technorati tags: MDM, master data management, Philip Russom, TDWI, MDM Readiness Assessment, MDM webcast, MDM survey

Posted February 2, 2009 9:16 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |