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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!

June 2009 Archives

In which Jill shares highlights from a very well-attended MDM event.

Last year in Savannah, Georgia, TDWI hosted the first Master Data Insight conference. It was a departure for TDWI, which as you know specializes in education for data warehousing and BI. The conference was a smashing success, with raves from attendees and vendor sponsors alike, and TDWI decided to repeat it. Because of tightened travel budgets, the event went from in-person to on-line. By the morning we launched the event, over 1000 people had registered.


As co-chair of MDM Insight, I got an insider's view of both the presentation content and the questions as attendees asked them interactively during the sessions. Here are a few highlights of these conversations across the two-day event:


The theme of Day 1 was "Planning Your MDM Implementation," and I kicked it off with my keynote, "Best Practices in Planning Your MDM Initiative." I shared some client stories and focused on what we've learned about MDM up until now. I talked about how we've moved past the MDM and CDI basics, and how the pitch is changing. Questions focused largely on how to engage the business in the MDM conversations, as well as about some of the prevalent MDM business drivers. (Hint: An industry focus is a good thing.)


Greg Valdez, Intel's Director of Master Data Engineering, tied the manufacturer's MDM initiative to its customer-focused strategy. "Standardized, high-quality master data was a prerequisite for the success of some key initiatives," Greg said. Several questions came in about how Greg and his team made the MDM pitch to Intel's senior management. Valdez explained how his team actually quantified the cost of lost productivity in hard dollars, showing some examples of their calculations.


As a Principal Analyst for Forrester Research, Rob Karel has seen both the user and the vendor sides of MDM. Rob focused on how the MDM market was maturing, and advised event attendees not to assume an "apples-to-apples" comparison of MDM vendors, since disparities between vendors are often stark.  "Creating a business case for MDM will bring you a long way in understanding the right technologies to use," Rob explained. Addressing questions on where to begin, Rob stressed what he called "bottom up valuation" of MDM, starting with a particular line of business. "Ask what business processes are most important to the organization," he recommended, "and the data involved in those business processes."


TDWI's Philip Russom kicked off Day 2 with a great presentation titled, "The State of MDM Technical Implementations," in which he outlined some of his latest MDM research findings, including the fact that most MDM implementations are geared toward the enterprise at-large, and that, as expected, respondents to TDWI surveys tend to be eyeing MDM to improve their analytics.


National Instruments, this year's TDWI Best Practice winner in the MDM category, made their presentation a team effort in "The Journey to Complete, Global Customer Management." Lisa Glenn, Christina McClary, Deepa Srinivasan, and Misty Allen shared the story of NI's CDI journey, including how they acquired a CDI hub and integrated it into an already-complex IT infrastructure. You'll be hearing more from them as they enter the winner's circle.


Wrapping up Day 2 was Baseline Consulting's Evan Levy. Evan's presentation was "New Best Practices in MDM Implementation--from the Trenches!" in which he discussed what he called "The Five Pillars of MDM": Content, Relationship, Access, Change Management, and Processing. Evan discussed the importance of data management to overall master data management, then answered some questions about the main implementation challenges he's seen recently has his team works with clients.


In between the presentations, lively panel discussions with MDM vendors IBM, Initiate Systems, Melissa Data, and Teradata highlighted the vendor views of MDM projects. The content was rich, varied, and experience-based. The speakers had done the work and had fresh stories to tell.


If you weren't able to make the live event, you can see the archive here.


The jury's still out as to the format of next year's MDM Insight event, but either way we hope to see you there! Meantime, click here to check out TDWI and Baseline's MDM Readiness Assessment survey, and see how you stack up against similar companies in your industry.

Tags: MDM Insight, MDM planning, MDM implementation, TDWI, Initiate Systems, IBM, Teradata, Melissa Data, Baseline Consulting

Posted June 26, 2009 3:46 PM
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