Firstly (and now that you’ve clicked), allow me to assure you that Master Data Management’s user interface (UI) is alive and well. System administrators still need a 360 degree view of MDM’s back-end system capabilities. Data architects still insist on concise navigation and intuitive usability to configure and build timely data quality and governance solutions. Data stewards still spend a lot of their time living within the MDM hub, where they are authorized to govern, update, create, or delete master data, as well as leveraging reporting, searching and browsing capabilities to facilitate MDM data analysis.
But while maintaining consistently good and accurate business data should be part of everyone’s job, most enterprise users happily go about their daily data entry tasks without ever seeing an MDM UI or even knowing of Master Data Management’s enterprise existence. Order entry, CRM systems, supplier on-boarding - to mention a few of the numerous applications and processes available – may well have MDM back-ends performing real-time, data quality corrections and updates across multiple subject areas and domains.
Recently, MDM’s unseen role was demonstrated in a live demo for the ongoing webinar series, webMethods Wednesdays. The viewing audience watched as MDM quietly worked in the background, spell-checking data consumed through the Digital Business Platform (Software AG’s innovative architecture enabling the rapid development of next generation digital applications). What they saw was MDM empowering an end user with good and consistent data. Only in this case - the end user was the customer.
Created by Chief Solution Architect, Sami Morcos, this DBP demo scenario initially captured customer social media commentary (and keywords), enabling Acme (a fictional home repair company) to proactively engage the customer about his home repair emergency and recommend Acme’s home improvement services.
The customer was then linked to an Acme API which was already pre-populated with available master data. Working in the background, however, MDM not-only automatically cleansed additional data upon data entry, but synchronized the new attributes (e.g. property, location, service history), with a single and increasingly informative view of the customer master record.
In the pursuit of sound data management practices (not to mention the Holy Grail of MDM’s single-view), data managers sometimes fixate on bringing end users directly into the hub. To some degree, this explains the proliferation of application-driven MDM products and their respective UIs.
But, given the current flexibility of API Management and adaptive applications, MDM works surprisingly well – under the hood.