What is data management?
Data management is a broad and ambiguous concept. The Global Data Management Community (DAMA International) defines it as “the development of architectures, policies, practices and procedures to manage the data lifecycle”. But when people say “data management”, what do they really mean? We suggest five possibilities:
- Cloud data management – the process of integrating data from an organization’s ecosystem of cloud applications. The main distinction of cloud data management is that all data storage, intake, and processing takes place in a cloud-based storage medium.
- Master data management – a method for managing critical organizational data: customers, accounts and parties named in business transactions, in a standardized way that prevents redundancy across the organization.
- Reference data management – defines permissible values that can be used by other data fields, such as postal codes, lists of countries, regions and cities, or product serial numbers. Reference data can be home-grown or externally provided.
Master Data Management tools
Dell Boomi’s Master Data Hub has the following key features:
- Defines models via low-code, visual experience.
- Deploys data models and identifies which source systems interact with them.
- Onboards system records into a consolidated repository, automatically merges similar records.
- Enables data stewarding – alerts teams to resolve duplicates and data entry issues.
- Governs data with real-time bidirectional process flows across silos.
Profisee’s Master Data Management has the following key features:
- Stewardship and governance – enables “data stewards” within the organization to manage master data with feedback from analytics.
- Golden record management – standardizes, cleans and matches source data with no coding.
- Event management – detects data changes, distributes events to subscribing systems.
- Integrator – federates master data for global enterprises, with real time bi-directional integration.
- Enterprise workflow – enforces business processes cross-organization, lets administrators manage data steward performance.
- SDK – enables integration of custom applications.
SAP NetWeaver MDM, a component of the NetWeaver development platform, has the following key features:
- Automatically extracts master data from all major SAP applications.
- Loads master data from other sources.
- Integrates data using business content like repository structures, validation rules, inbound and outbound mappings.
- Distributes master data to targets.
- Enables programmatic data integration via APIs and web services.
Semarchy is a relative newcomer to the MDM scene, having been launched in 2011. Based out of France, it was founded by a team of former Sunopsis employees. xDM, their main MDM product, has the following features:
- Non-Hadoop dependent.
- Optimized for Oracle.
- Updates and changes are tracked and propagated using metadata, allowing for iterative, “evolutionary” data management.
- Features a step-by-step user interface that can be customized to specific business roles (i.e. analysts, operations, etc.).
Tibco is a perennial placer in top MDM tool rankings. Key features include:
- Flexibility and scalability for multidomain applications.
- Independent, distributed master data layer.
- Customizable no-code visual interface that can be built to suit various business roles.
- Highly-rated data versioning support.
- SOAP Web services support.
Ataccama offers ONE, a highly automated data management tool that can be run on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid setup. Key features include:
- Machine learning-based data curation, cleaning and classification.
- Automated metadata discovery.
- Automated project configuration.
- Domain agnostic, but comes pre-configured with pre-built rules for MDM for typical domains such as customer, contact and product.
- Connectors for wide range of data types and sources.
- GDPR ready.
- Full data audit history with detailed log of applied business rules and transformations.
Stibo has the distinction of being probably the oldest company on the list, having been founded in the 18th century as a printing company. The data management arm of the company is a younger addition, and STEP, its main data management tool offering, has the following key features:
- STEP Workbench UI.
- Holistic multidomain MDM platform.
- High level of automation.
- Automated data and language translation for multinational operations.
- Automated review and approval of digital assets.
- Enterprise-level master data management.