How do you add the word “Big” to “Master Data Management”? Big Master Data Management? Master Big Data Management? It does not matter, really. What matters is the opening of MDM to big data.
Predict: in 2013, big data will drive part of the requirements for MDM programs, recognizing that new types of data are becoming constituents of enterprise information.
Big data technology provides access to “new data”: new types of information coming from outside the firewall, from unsuspected data sources, or from sources that were simply not accessible before. They also provide a renewed access to enterprise “dark data”.
According to Gartner, “master data management is a technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets.” There is nothing in this definition – nor in others I have seen – that restricts it to the consistency of the structured information stored in relational databases and applications. Rather, MDM also needs to include the wealth of “new data” that big data technologies provide access to.
Adding “Big” to MDM does not mean that the master data hub will be stored in Hadoop (although NoSQL could enable this sooner than one thinks), nor does it mean that its size will grow exponentially in a short timeframe. Rather, it means that some of the big data (or new data) will be managed in the MDM hub itself, linked from the MDM hub in a federated approach, or will simply benefit from the consistency and resolution services that MDM brings to the table.