That’s the question I asked in two of my blogs about a couple of years back – Why The “Upside-Down” Approach Doesn’t Work For Multidomain MDM and Do The Math: Platform Approach Adds Up As The Superior Alternative To Multidomain MDM. A detailed version of this content was later published in Database Trends and Applications. Also, you can download this content as a whitepaper from the Informatica Resources webpage.Yesterday, David Loshin revisited this crucial topic in his blog Master Data Model Alternatives, in which he explored the two approaches from an MDM data model perspective – a pre-packaged approach data model vs. a model-driven approach. At the core of application approach to MDM is a pre-packaged data model, whereas, the platform approach to MDM is premised on a business model-driven approach.
While the terminology could be different, the argument remains the same – an application MDM that contains a fixed vendor-defined data model won’t fit your needs because it’s an amalgamation of disparate data models – it’s like finding a needle in a needle-stack. To make it fit, one needs to delete unnecessary data elements and add necessary data elements. Any such changes to the data model invalidate the web services, business rules, and user interface. It requires senior-level technical expertise to write time-consuming code to rewire broken components, which will make it difficult to upgrade to the next release. This increases the TCO and risk of abandoning the project. It is like altering this pant to fit your size. It will be much cleaner, and cheaper, to stitch one based on your measurements.
A flexible business model-driven approach to MDM is the cleaner approach that adapts to your business requirements and data model, and doesn’t force you to adapt to fixed vendor-defined data model. Based on the data model definition, it automatically generates web services and user interface elements, thus delivering value in weeks in every phase of your project. It promotes reuse of business rules across MDM, data quality, and data integration, and does not delay your project to years and risk cancellation. Further, it leverages your existing investments as business needs evolve and does not increase your TCO by requiring additional MDM applications.
I will be joining David Loshin in his March 20 TDWI Webinar, “Is Your Approach to Modeling MDM Fixed or Flexible?”, in which I’ll elucidate the benefits of a flexible business-model-driven approach to MDM citing customer examples. I hope to see you there.