Another strong session at Oracle OpenWorld this afternoon.
Alison Schofield, the Product Strategy Director at Oracle for PIM Data Hub, lead off the session by talkking about the business challenges in improving the data quality of product information, calling it the “greatest threat to your PIM initiative.”
Items are formatted inconsistently, misclassified, with overloaded description fields and lots of non-standardized data.
Martin Boyd from Silver Creek Systems took over to talk about the DataLens product, which Oracle is now selling on an OEM basis on the Oracle price list.
Martin pointed out that 10% of the total effort will be on the MDM software implementation, 40% on establishing governance and documenting the master data architecture, and 50% on data remediation (according to AMR Research, “MDM Strategies for Enterprise Applications, April 2007”).
Data mastering is about “getting your data right” and “keeping it right”.
And there are very few standards governing product data (outside of your product information management system) – all of your legacy systems and outside trading partners are going to feed you a lot of product data of questionable quality.
Martin presented Silver Creek’s DataLens capabilities “at a glance” – the ability to standardize and validation of attributes and descriptions, translate between languages, assignment to popular product classification schema, enrichment with internal and external data. matching and merging, and re-purposing so data can be published in any format for use by downstream systems.
Martin differentiated between tools designed to handle customer data quality and those handling product data.
Name and address data has a relatively fixed syntax, but product data has no fixed syntax. And there are only about 200 or so country address formats, while there are tens of thousands of product types.
Two thirds of companies use manual efforts or custom code, but they say it’s too unreliable (75%) or too slow (64%).
Gartner (and many other analyst firms) have given great reviews to Silver Creek in the last few months.
Oracle’s Product Data Quality Server (DataLens bundled into and pre-integrated with Oracle PIM Hub by Oracle) has been used at large retail, manufacturing and health care companies.
The product’s capability starts with semantic recognition – recognizing the product within the current context – and then you can standardize, match, enrich, and repurpose the data, although those things are quite different for product data than for customer data.
The session wound up with a demo of DataLens, and the integration with Oracle’s PIM Hub.
I’ve spent the last six months on the product side of the master data management world, so I’ve found Silver Creek’s DataLens product very interesting, as it solves a major problem in the product MDM space. It was great seeing the Silver Creek folks presenting with Oracle at OpenWorld today.