Break out of the endless data integration cycle

Traditional master data management (MDM) projects have tended to be cumbersome, complex and never-ending.

By Gary Alleman, MD of Master Data Management

Although MDM purports many benefits, the reality is that projects have typically become centred on data integration, which makes these benefits difficult to realise. The key to leveraging value from MDM implementations is to shift to a new paradigm, using the power of graph databases to deliver agility, flexibility and achievable benefits in short time frames.

The key to unlocking value

MDM relies on bringing all of an organisation’s data together in a central repository.

This is sound in theory, but what often happens is that this is where the project begins and ends. IT becomes bogged down by building scripts to pull data from various systems into the master system, and then from the master system back into client systems. Every time a new data source needs to be added, the process begins again. In today’s world this lack of agility is a serious issue.

To leverage value from MDM, organisations need to break away from this endless cycle of data integration. Next-generation MDM tools enable organisations to choose whether to bring their data in to a central hub or make use of data virtualisation. This allows data to be used where it resides, negating the requirement for integration and duplication. This delivers the required levels of agility, helping enterprises to drive business value quickly.

Next-generation technology, next-generation benefits

In addition to being agile, next-generation MDM is also highly flexible and scalable thanks to a graph database model. Not only is there no longer any need to convert data to fit the old relational database model, new data sources and use cases can be added as needed, allowing businesses to start small and then scale as required.

Organisations can integrate customer, transaction, product and social data to build a new, enriched data model that evolves with the business, as well as its data and information architecture.

Knowledge graphs offer a new way of visualising processes, interactions, hierarchies, roles and domains quickly, for improved insights into data. Users are now empowered to uncover hidden or less than obvious relationships, as well as to create ‘what if’ scenarios, perform temporal or geospatial analyses, and define rules-driven event triggers.

Using next-generation tools, businesses can effectively cleanse, standardise and validate data, as well as standardise governance and exceptions management. In addition, with these tools, businesses are empowered to link information to deliver new relationship insights, make connections across any data source, and enhance traditional data with contextual information. This enables powerful insights from predictive analytics.

A single view for singular business outcomes

Next-generation MDM tools enable businesses to leverage a true single view of their data, with cleanliness and quality assured, for greater accuracy, agility and context. By harnessing the power of next-generation MDM, businesses can make smarter, more effective decisions, identify new targeted sales opportunities and detect risks to mitigate losses.

Beyond this, however, it is also possible to deliver more efficient, satisfying call centre interactions, automate self-service on a one-on-one basis and customise interactions based on the time, place and context of each engagement. The end result is more profitable business outcomes and significant competitive advantage.

First published at IT-Online