Master Data Management (MDM) provides processes for collecting, aggregating, matching, consolidating, quality-assuring, persisting and distributing critical business data throughout an organization to ensure a common understanding, consistency, accuracy and control of those critical business data. At a basic level, master data management seeks to ensure that an organization does not use multiple (potentially inconsistent) versions of the same master data in different parts of the organization. Critical business data can be products, processes, customers or services on the one hand and reference data with a set of permissible values on the other. Technically, MDM uses a central master file as a common point of reference.
There are several ways in which master data may be collated (compared) and distributed to other systems. This includes:
- Data cosolidation. The process of capturing master data from multiple sources and integrating into a single hub (Operational Data Store) for replication to other destination systems.
- Data federation. The process of providing a single virtual view of master data from one or more sources to one or more destination systems.
- Data propagation. The process of copying master data from one system to another, typically through point-to-point interfaces in legacy systems.
Master Data Management is strongly related to Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Information Management (PIM). PDM is about product information within a company. PIM is about distributing up-to-date product information to external customers, resellers and partners. Example: InRiver PIM.
Another example is SyncSort Customer360. This tool is used to get a trusted single view of the customer and can be used both on-premises and in the cloud. This MDM contains:
- Kernel information about the customer, such as name, address, etc.
- References to account and transactional data stored in an ODS or maintained in other systems.
- Interaction data from various channels such as call center, phone, website, social platforms, webchat, email and mobile. Note that omni-channel service and marketing is only possible of this functionality is included.
Microsoft currently has no on-prem or cloud offering for MDM. SQL Server On Prem contains Master Data Services (MDS) and Data Quality Services (DQS), which offer part of the solution.
In the cloud, Microsoft recommends to use the product of its partner Profisee. Profisee is a Microsoft Partner focused on delivering enterprise MDM capabilities through its Master Data Management platform. Leveraging the Microsoft technology stack, Profisee is able to deliver Microsoft MDM solutions on-premises, in the Azure cloud, or in a consumption model via the Azure Marketplace (VM offering). Out-of-the-box adapters for Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX accelerate deployment and time-to-value for Microsoft-centric organizations, delivering a single view of Customer and Product data across the enterprise.