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Informatica MDM Tweet Jam

This is a transcript (lightly edited for brevity) of today’s Informatica MDM Tweet Jam. We hope you enjoyed the actual Tweet Jam and this transcript. If there were questions you didn’t get a chance to ask, please feel free to ask them via our web site’s Contact Us page.

Dan Power: Informatica MDM Tweet Jam like playing “stump Dan” – see if you can perplex, mystify and amaze me!

Dan Power: Actually, just kidding – want to have a good dialogue with everyone – would love to have a good MDM discussion.

Informatica Corp.: Right now! Join the #MDM TweetJam with @dan_power. 9am PT.

Dan Power: OK, the Tweet Jam is officially open!

Jakki Geiger: Dan, what are the most common concerns you hear about MDM?

Dan Power: IT people still seem concerned about how to involve the business and sell it to senior management.

Jakki Geiger: what advice do you give them?

Dan Power: IT seems to know that MDM is needed but sometimes can’t seem to get the business on board, and it can be hard to pitch to the C-Suite.

Dan Power: We advise building a compelling business case – getting outside help if needed – and recruiting internal business champions.

Jakki Geiger: What strategies to get the business on board have you seen work?

Dan Power: I wrote an article about that in a recent Information Management magazine and a blog article on Hub Designs Blog that accompanied it.

Jakki Geiger: We’ve seen IT successfully tie MDM to key strategic imperatives like improving cross-sell and up-sell=getting sales on board.

Ravi Shankar: One thing we have done to help IT is to quantify how much DQ issues can cut costs or increase revenue.

Dan Power: Getting the business on board means STARTING in the business – find out their pain points and recruit them to drive from Day 1.

Jakki Geiger: Others include onboarding channel partners onboard faster, which appeals to sales and channel operations.

Jakki Geiger: A huge driver has been regulatory compliance = appealing to those who gather data across the enterprise and create reports.

Ravi Shankar: I like what Charles Bloodworth of J&J said at Informatica World 2010 – “MDM is not just a project; it’s a discipline – a way of doing bus for us”.

Dan Power: Good points Jakki & Ravi – those are the pain points I’m talking about: increasing revenue / onboarding channel partners faster.

Jakki Geiger: One area I think is really going to take off is improving business processes = improve data to improve the process.

Jakki Geiger: One exec got buy in from exec team with “we need to manage our product supply chain and info supply chain equally efficiently”.

Ravi Shankar: Agreed – bus needs to be involved in MDM. Charles of J&J said bus involvement drove their MDM and data governance success.

Dan Power: That’s right – becomes a way of life – new discipline for the business – to have a golden copy of the data that they can trust.

Jakki Geiger: I agree with u. IT needs to understand what the business pains and strategic imperatives are, then evaluate “can MDM help?”

Dan Power: Product management and supply chain are just as fertile for most companies as customer data – so MDM is just getting started.

Dan Power: I’ve been talking to a lot of companies lately that have already done customer MDM and are now looking at doing product MDM.

Ravi Shankar: Product MDM: I see lot of demand for this from manufacturing companies. Just came from S. Korea – product MDM is hot.

Dan Power: Or even supplier MDM – in order to get global strategic sourcing initiatives off the ground, which can save millions of $.

Ravi Shankar: Customer MDM to product MDM – we’ve seen that with our own early customers – They leveraged the same Informatica platform.

Julie Hunt: How do you see MDM implementations evolving to take advantage of newer tech such as ‘cloud’?

Julie Hunt: And what advantages does the cloud offer to MDM solutions?

Dan Power: Good question, Julie – definitely see a movement towards the cloud – people don’t want to create tomorrow’s “legacy systems”.

Dan Power: So they increasingly are asking their vendors about cloud deployment options, even if they don’t rush to take advantage of them.

Dan Power: They want to know they’re available

Dan Power: To Julie’s Q about cloud, I think eventually we’ll see cloud deployments at lower cost than on-premise (particularly hardware).

Ravi Shankar: Let me outline 2 use cases we’ve seen @ InformaticaCorp.

Ravi Shankar: Use case 1: During peak times like holiday seasons, retailers can burst into cloud for additional capacity.

Ravi Shankar: Use case 2: Mktg mgrs can use self service tools to upload attendee list from event w/o having to bother IT.

Dan Power: The promise of cloud for me, is more flexibility as my business grows and if we have seasonal peaks and valleys of demand.

ocdqblog (Jim Harris): What do you say to companies that expected that from their data warehouse? How is MDM different from conformed dims?

Ravi Shankar: ocdqblog – welcome. Looking forward to a lively MDM discussion.

Dan Power: Good question, Jim. Most companies had unrealistic expectations from data warehouses, which ended up being expensive, read-only,

Dan Power: and updated infrequently. MDM gives them the capability to modify the data, publish to a DW, and manage complex hierarchies.

Dan Power: So to finish answering your question Jim, I think MDM offers more flexibility than the typical DW.

Dan Power: That’s why BI on top of MDM (or more likely, BI on top of a DW that draws data from an MDM) is so popular.

Ravi Shankar: MDM for DW – 90% of Informatica MDM customers use it for analytical use (in addition to operational).

ocdqblog (Jim Harris): Thanks Dan – Follow-up is do you see MDM as compliment or replacement for DW?

Dan Power: Definitely a compliment – fills void in the middle between trx systems and the DW – does things that neither can do to data.

Jakki Geiger: are you seeing this trend? Evolving beyond single customer view= visibility into 360 customer view w/products and channels, etc.

Dan Power: Yes, Jakki – people want more than a single view – they want multiple views on top of the single view.

Ravi Shankar: Siperian customers – We’re having a lively chat on MDM and data governance. Join in!

Ravi Shankar: Dan, what do you tell DW admins that DW provides their single view for enterprise?

Dan Power: I tell DW admins that most people in the enterprise aren’t completely happy with DW – that’s why there’s pain leading to MDM.

Jakki Geiger: Since the driver of MDM is the business, how are we getting master data into the hands of the business?

Dan Power: Good Q, Jakki – getting MDM data back into hands of the business should be built into the project – and the software platform.

Ravi Shankar: Compliance is driven out of DW – you need MDM for accurate compliance reports – Do you agree?

Dan Power: Yes, Ravi – Garbage in, Garbage out – you need quality data from the MDM system to feed into the data warehouse.

Julie Hunt: So we must advocate value of data governance as well as value of MDM with business, senior management?

Dan Power: I tell people to think of their initiative as a data governance project that happens to involve #MDM technology.

Dan Power: Not an #MDM technology project that requires data governance.

Dan Power: And to start the data governance piece about 6 months before the technology piece, if possible.

Julie Hunt: The importance of data quality = another layer to be advocated to the business and to management – show them the impact on outcomes.

Jakki Geiger: MDM is like a Ferrari. If you don’t use DQ with MDM, it’s like putting regular gas in Ferrari=sub optimal performance.

Dan Power: I’ve seen people try to do MDM without data quality – and it’s a disaster, like trying to run a submarine on dry land!

Dan Power: The fact is that #MDM and data quality are linked, just as #MDM and data governance are linked.

Ravi Shankar: Should data quality be integrated within #MDM?

Dan Power: Good question, Ravi – I’ve seen it both ways – a data quality engine integrated with the MDM platform or separate, both can work as long as the data quality tool is robust and the integration is solid, shouldn’t matter.

Dan Power: Most MDM platform vendors are not equally good at developing data quality tools – Informatica is one of the few that is.

Julie Hunt: How much does corporate culture impact success/failure of projects for #MDM, data governance etc.?

Dan Power: Great Q – corporate culture is a huge impact on success because data governance drives MDM and requires a lot of change mgt. So spend a lot of time on org. change in the data governance side of the #MDM initiative in order to be successful.

Ravi Shankar: Heard a customer say – “Don’t overdo data governance – do just what’s necessary” Do you agree?

Dan Power: I’d agree not to go overboard on data governance – balanced approach that’s right for your co. just enough to get the job done. Too much data governance can be worse than not enough – can be bureaucratic – the “data governance police”.

Ravi Shankar: Data governance applies to all data, but I hear that in MDM context a lot. Do you hear “master data governance” for MDM?

Jakki Geiger: Some argue shouldn’t call it data governance because the -ve connotation of “governance” thoughts?

Dan Power: I actually like that phrase – master data governance – makes it more clear and precise what we’re talking about

Dan Power: Because otherwise, data governance organization can get drawn into all kinds of weird things not related to master data

Dan Power: We need to recognized that data governance is (a) political, (b) controversial, (c) going to have an enforcement side.

Ravi Shankar: Now, do orgs do data governance first before implementing MDM or after they select an MDM product?

Dan Power: So in some ways, I actually like the term “data government” better – makes it more explicit what we’re talking about.

Dan Power: And it reminds people that we’re talking about governing the enterprise’s core master data – just like we govern other key assets.

Jakki Geiger: I think the challenge is that we’re still in the process of understanding that data is a strategic asset.

Dan Power: It’s ideal if they can start data governance before even selecting a product – so that the data governance org. can help w/ the selection process.

Ravi Shankar: Dan wrote an excellent whitepaper – “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic” – you can download it from

Dan Power: Truly competitive 21st century companies not only understand that data is a strategic asset, it’s how they run their business.

Dan Power: Forward looking businesses like Google, Amazon, Century 21, eBay, etc. realize that the data IS their business!

Jakki Geiger: “Data as strategic asset” is a fairly new concept. Visionaries recognize need 4 scale and intelligence=harnessing & analyzing data.

Dan Power: That was a fun white paper to write – looking forward to doing another one with the great folks at Informatica again soon!

Jakki Geiger: What I liked about Dan’s WP was the discussion around stopping the problem of data quality at the source.

Seth Grimes: Is data governance also (d) useful on balance and (e) capable of delivering ROI?

Dan Power: Yes, of course – or people wouldn’t be doing it. You can’t bring together massive amounts of data in an MDM hub and not have some type of governance framework in place. And if there was no ROI, it wouldn’t be happening.

Dan Power: I’m pretty familiar with Oracle’s data governance program, and for a huge company, it’s not real expensive.

Ravi Shankar: Welcome to #INFATJ – good data governance question.

Ravi Shankar: Successful Informatica MDM customers like J&J, Merrill, and numerous others have had strong global data governance orgs.

Ravi Shankar: Data is a key asset that many firms make a lot of money out of it – Bloomberg for e.g.

Ray Wang: RT @Ravi_Shankar_: Data is a key asset that many firms make a lot of money out of it – Bloomberg for e.g.

Dan Power: Good example with Bloomberg – welcome Ray!

Ravi Shankar: @rwang0 thx for the RT

Jakki Geiger: Can you create a career out of MDM? Many of our customers have extended MDM to address more and more issues in their orgs.

Dan Power: Good Q, Jakki – u can create a career out of it, I have for the last 6 years, but you’ve got to really have this in your blood

Ravi Shankar: Within Informatica customers, we’ve seen careers of several people take off b/c of successful #MDM data governance.

Julie Hunt: Thanks for great tweet jam!

Jakki Geiger: Thank you for participating! Looking forward to next time. Good luck to you all!

Dan Power: Thanks for joining us today – hope you enjoyed it! Check out the Hub Designs Blog at

Ravi Shankar: Thx for your insightful discussion and advice on #MDM data governance. Hope you all enjoyed it. Until next time!

Dan Power: This is Dan Power, signing off – have a great day everyone!

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2 Comments on “Informatica MDM Tweet Jam”

  1. Stephen Hayward 12/04/2010 at 10:34 am #

    This is a great and fun way to show the evolution of some great dialogue. Some really great points. I like some of the stuff in the middle about governance first not technology. Technology is always a key part, but not the purpose.

  2. Dan Power 12/04/2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Thanks for the kind words, Stephen. We had a lot of fun that day. Ravi and Jakki from Informatica are very knowledgeable, and we got some great questions from the people that showed up via Twitter. Thanks for dropping by!

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