Seven Evaluations for Second-Generation MDM Tools

David Loshin provides seven evaluation considerations for selecting MDM solutions in this article.  His portrayal of second-generation MDM tools will surely excite many data management professionals.  Before discussing further, it’s worth mentioning that he definitely got it right in his book, Master Data Management, when he said: “The key to a successful MDM initiative isn’t technology or methods, it’s people: the stakeholders in the organization and their complex ownership of the data that the initiative will affect.”


All too often, Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives are led by IT departments that prioritize architectural and technical considerations above business enablement.  It is well known among seasoned MDM professionals that Data Quality (DQ) initiatives can create significant business impacts without MDM, but MDM initiatives always requires DQ to fully realize their potential.  For this reason, we recommend leading with DQ to deliver business value in conjunction with MDM evaluations. This strategy would provide feedback into the evaluation to help ensure priorities are informed by real-world examples.

The seven characteristics David presents are:

  1. Identity resolution
  2. Physical versus virtual
  3. Master entity modelling options
  4. Synchronization
  5. On-premises versus cloud based
  6. Data management approach
  7. Data governance

The linked article provides a concise introduction to each topic.  While none of these concepts are new, vendors are constantly exploring innovative approaches to delivering MDM software products. Early adopters should evaluate the MDM/DQ business solutions when using next-generation products before deploying them.

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