DW vs MDM

A few weeks ago one of our viewers David Argenal asked “Is Master Data the same as Data Warehousing.” I love these questions so keep them coming.

In this video I’m going to put MDM (Master Data Management) on the left and DW (Data Warehousing) on the right. Both solutions have a database, but the purpose of these databases differ. MDM is designed to store the unique people, places, and things your organization is interested in, and I’ll call those nouns for the rest of the video. I want to emphasize the word unique. See the larger a company gets the more dispersed a person's records might become. For example, your company might capture customer information in the call center, website, CRM, and billing system, all at separate times. Since each system isn’t aware of the next system, the records can easily have variations. This dilution of the customer identity becomes a growing barrier the larger the organization becomes. Imagine trying to have a relationship with a customer whose identity you couldn’t really rely on. As I mentioned earlier, MDM solutions are not just about people but really any important noun your organization wants to keep consistent about.

That’s MDM in a nutshell. Now let's look at a Data Warehouse. The Data Warehouse also works with those nouns, but for the express purpose of relating the organizations transactions and events (or what I’ll call Verbs) to those nouns to deliver scalable information.. See when organizations don’t centralize the logic for how these nouns and verbs come together, then it forces individuals to do so independently. This creates a chaotic situation for decision makers because each person has their own version of how to logically assemble that data. That produces those management meetings where nobody knows which dashboard or report is right. The data warehouse addresses this by defining the relationship between the organizations nouns and verbs in a strategic yet ongoing effort. As you can see these solutions can work in conjunction with each other, and neither of these solutions are cheap to deploy. So it’s not uncommon to find organizations just getting along with a makeshift patch.  However, at some point organizations have to address these needs. The deployment of these solutions usually follows a data management maturity lifecycle. I have an older video that talks to this lifecycle which is titled Data Management Maturity. I've also written a white paper titled, “DW vs MDM”, which delves into this topic a little further to help you determine which solution might be right for your organization to budget.

Additionally, you can reach out to Intricity and talk with a specialist. We can help you determine the best approach, and how to mature your organization to that approach.