Having just gone through a move back into my newly renovated house, I have had an epiphany about master data management. We consumers should demand our own version of this functionality...
Let me set this up for you. What happens when you move? You must send out hundreds of postcards or emails or voice mails letting everyone -- friends, family, businesses -- know what your new address is. The data is incredibly redundant and, in my case, easily prone to errors from the manual effort it takes. Plus it is just bloody boring writing my address over and over and over again...
So -- where am I going with this? We have heard a lot about master data management (MDM) for corporations. In case you don't know what that is, a common definition is that it consists of all that wonderful reference data that companies collect on locations, products, orders, and, yes, customers. The idea is to somehow centrally store and manage that data making it available to all systems -- including BI systems -- with a need for it. Companies then have one place to enter, update, and even delete this data rather than having to do so in hundreds if not thousands of system databases. The various systems using the data would either get updates from the MDM function (via message brokering or other mechanisms) or use the MDM database itself as a direct source for this information.
MDM functionality is a hot topic for a lot of vendors and is the topic of an upcoming B-EYE-Network research paper co-authored by Colin White and myself. That is what got me to thinking that the vendors are missing a truly wonderful opportunity by focusing only on how corporations can use this capability. How about consumers? Think about having your own personal MDM function where you update your address and other information once. Then give access to that data to your selected accesses (see list above).
Can this be done in a secure fashion -- a way that does not allow my private information to be accessed by unauthorized peepers? Sure. We are already doing something like this with the likes of Plaxo and LinkedIn . The problem is that you have to be a member of each one of these to keep up with all your contacts. Also, I can't "link" my magazines into this service -- so far, it is only for people not businesses. And then there are all the security and privacy issues to be solved...
So -- there you go, vendors. Let's move MDM one step further and make it functional not only for businesses but also for the everyday consumer. I'm betting that there is a huge market for this type of service. I know I would use it.
I look forward to hearing what you think about this.
Yours in BI (and single pint of data entry) Success.
Posted March 10, 2006 1:59 PM
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