Inflexible MDM Data Model Shall Keep Disrupting Customer Success Story
Among all the projects I worked in past, I enjoyed most working in MDM project versus any other kind of projects. MDM projects become special because of its unique features leading to interesting discussions related to the way each of the sources handle data. Each of the source system specializes into some kind of data like Contact details or phone numbers or addresses etc. In fact things get more complex when it comes to decision on level of confidence client has in each of those attributes coming in from different source systems.
As usual, things will keep changing in the source systems and eventually in MDM too. To live longer and truly remain the best source of truth for years, MDM systems must learn to be flexible to adapt new changes with time.
And typically one needs to factor in following parameters to make any MDM project successful:
1. Source Systems
2. Match and Merge Rules
3. Trust Framework
4. Web Services [ based on the MDM Data Model ]
The fun part is most of the times the client keeps changing the requirements and which in turn affects almost all of these factors. Let’s try to go through a use case and try to understand the implications of the change.
Use Case – Adding a new source system
Imagine your client informs you one fine morning that there is soon going to be one more source system added to the system which is going to share couple of new attributes to be mastered!! It is really hard to digest it, but you have to amend the data model effectively [and hence the web services].
Not only that, there may be an immediate need to edit the match and merge rules as the client may expect to match newly introduced attributes as matching parameters.
Big questions – does your MDM tool provides you the flexibility to add new attributes and this can happen multiple times over the MDM project life cycle? In that case, what happens to your web services? Would they become invalid upon adding additional attributes to data model?
What can Informatica MDM offer here?
Informatica MDM provides you following benefits:
• An adaptive approach that relies on configuration based on unique requirements
• Flexible approach to data model
• Automatically generated services
• Configurable user interface, workflow
Well it is up to your discretion to set up your priorities, but nothing is as important as flexibility of MDM data model in long run and implementation of successful project. And you may see in the market that there are MDM vendors who promise you the preconfigured data model for addressing pain areas of line of business [or verticals]. Initially, it would show the early success; however, on long run it may not reap good results as you can’t run on a data model that needs patch work every now and then to stop bleeding!
Survival of the fittest
The key is to aim for the sky when designing the MDM architecture for the project. You can find dozens of MDM vendors out there in the market, however it is just not only about how fast can you implement the MDM project but also how long can the MDM system sustain the changes – it’s the survival of the fittest.