Zornes: Master data governance will fuse MDM to BPM

Master data governance tools are emerging to aid the orchestration of MDM and BPM, according to MDM expert Aaron Zornes. “Big data” is a distraction from the business basics of MDM, he says.

Master data governance is set to synthesize master data management (MDM) and BPM, MDM godfather Aaron Zornes will tell an upcoming conference in London.

“We finally have the vendors paying attention to what has been a major pain point forever -- which is master data governance,” Zornes said in an interview with SearchDataManagement.co.UK ahead of IRM UK’s Master Data Management Summit, which he will chair.

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Zornes described the current vogue for “big data” as a distraction. “MDM is a very practical matter,” Zornes said, pouring cold water on the hype about big data and social CRM. “It’s not something new we have to do every year. It is basic blocking and tackling [an American football term].” Big data is relevant to consumer packaged goods companies, he said, but “the basics of ‘who are your customers? who are your suppliers?’ -- that requires MDM.”

It also requires, on his account, master data governance (MDG), which is a refinement of MDM: “a set of processes that lets you proactively design and capture data for your MDM hubs.”

The megavendors -- IBM, SAP and Oracle -- are bringing master data governance tools to market, he said, as are Informatica and Kalido.

Zornes’ MDM Institute is producing 15 reports on 25 early adopters of MDG technologies, and will reflect that at the MDM summit, he said. He is governing his research by 10 criteria that include MDM hub integration; enterprise application integration; multi-level, role-based security; integrated metrics and end-to-end data lifecycle support.

“There is a disconnect between data governance tools and MDM,” Zornes said. The integration of the MDM hub has been missing. “We want a design tool to organize processes to generate the policies to push out to the MDM hub. MDG solutions should require downstream systems to feed metrics back to match against the original rules.”

He suggested a use case of two merged companies taking their two independent customer MDM hubs and then applying new policies for the merged companies to push down into the merged MDM hub.

Business process management is being assimilated to MDM, he argued. “BPM vendors think they own the world and the application vendors, too. But BPM plays second fiddle to MDM because the latter has embraced policy management. For example, SAP’s MDG has all the workflows, such as order to cash,” and so has IBM’s Lombardi [product].

“The ongoing global financial crisis has put data governance on the short list of strategic IT programs to be funded by CFOs and CIOs," he said in the press statement previewing the event. “The combination of MDM and data governance is critical to the increasing regulatory requirements for compliance such as Basel II and Solvency II.”

“I’m thrilled to see real things done with computers as opposed to PowerPoint and Excel,” Zornes concluded.

The summit will feature case studies from, among others, British American Tobacco (South Africa), BBC Worldwide, GlaxoSmithKline, Transport for London and the West Midlands Police. The summit is being held alongside the Data Governance Conference Europe 2012.

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