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Report #5 from a stray climber on the MDM Summit Europe 2016

MDM and Big Data - Different Worlds

One of my objectives at t
Beware: Shallow Big Data by John V Willshire
he MDM Summit Europe was to get a current picture of the relationship between MDM and Big Data. After yesterday afternoon’s sessions I concluded they are worlds apart.

Ashok Nayak of Accenture talked about Next-Generation MDM using Big Data Technologies. The flavour was very much that of Big Data World. There was not much attention to MDM requirements for straightforward master data maintenance processes as outlined by Gerard Bartley of FrieslandCampina earlier in the afternoon. Big Data World, as described by Ashok, seemed pretty relaxed about errors in the data in the data lake. Of course, there is a cost benefit analysis to be made on the effort to achieve correct data in any context. But Big Data World does not seem to have much awareness of risks arising from errors in data.

In MDM World a component of the business case for efforts to achieve clean data lies in minimising the risk that executives go to jail when a business process goes badly wrong. The way Big Data World handles data does not lend itself to tight controls on data validity, accuracy and timeliness.

After the rather vague session in the blubber around the data lake, Dr Malcolm Chisholm of First San Francisco Partners brought me up sharp with his presentation on Legal, Privacy, and Compliance Issues in Data Governance. This was mainly dealing with the risk and compliance issues in using data from external sources. But it is a reminder that all data in an enterprise needs to be in the scope of good governance and bad or misused data may be a liability due to the associated risks.

So it appears that the cultures of Big Data World and MDM World are far apart. The benchmarks for fitness for use are higher in MDM than in Big Data, so it seems unlikely that the Big Data tooling and ways of working will be of much value to MDM.

Photo credit: John V Willshire on Flickr
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