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The Early Bird Gets the Worm: Preparing Enterprises for Next-Generation MDM

by Navin Sharma | July 30, 2015 | No Comments

It’s time to look at your master data management (MDM) solutions and prepare your business for the demands of managing customer information in today’s connected economy.master data management MDM

If you were to type “da Vinci” into Google right now, the search engine’s Knowledge Graph (that box that appears to the right of your search results) would provide images of the famous figure, a short biography, his dates and places of birth and death, and links to information about his family, works of art and related topics.

That collection of information is one of the best examples of a company that is effectively managing dispersed information. Both Google and Facebook are doing a great job of reining in the deluge of data from a variety of new social, mobile and cloud platforms and leveraging that information in a way that drives value for clients – but they’re certainly not the only companies thinking about it.

I discussed this topic in a recent Information Management webinar that focused on MDM trends and developments, titled “Managing Customer in the Digital Era with Next-Generation MDM.” Aaron Zornes, founder and chief research officer of The MDM Institute, was also on the webcast to present some compelling insights into how major enterprises view next-generation MDM.

Why next-generation MDM? Because, as Aaron’s research shows, current MDM solutions aren’t really prepared for the way business has changed in the last few years. Most companies have not been able to do what Google and Facebook do so well: manage the explosion of customer data arriving in new formats from multiple channels. Enterprises are not agile enough to act on the new opportunities this data presents, in part because the tools they use are actually enabling – and not solving – long-standing data challenges.

For example, data silos are the most common obstacle enterprises face. Important customer data has long been locked up in “pockets of knowledge” within different applications that are owned by different company departments, largely because those are the departments that are best able to manage those applications. And because those silos are so organic and purpose-built, it’s tough work to try and plug in an MDM solution that breaks apart these pockets of knowledge and offers organizations greater access to dispersed knowledge.

In fact, Aaron’s research finds that MDM capabilities only serve to strengthen these silos. That’s because MDM is being baked into so many applications that at this point, most departments have their own unique MDM management structure separate from the rest of the business. At the end of the day, the data remains locked up.

Rather than resist these pockets of knowledge, companies need to follow the examples set by Google and Facebook and instead find a way to tap into dispersed data stored across internal and external application domains. When someone in your company says they want to start tracking a new data dimension from a new source – say, tweets – it should be easy for your MDM system to accommodate that request.

That’s what next-generation MDM is all about, business agility, and it’s what major enterprises are actively seeking. Aaron’s research shows market-leading enterprises like Wal-Mart are already embarking on gap analysis activities to determine the difference between what capabilities they can gain from existing MDM solutions and what they’ll need now, and in the future.

So, if you’re standing still on MDM, then you’re already behind. As the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, and given that many companies are already evaluating their options for stepping up data management capabilities, it’s time to start thinking about next-generation MDM.

To learn more, click here to watch the full replay of “Managing Customer in the Digital Era with Next-Generation MDM,” a webinar presented by Information Management and Pitney Bowes. Or visit our website to get a look at Spectrum Data Hub, our next-generation MDM solution.

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