A briefing by Teradata for the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank
The Hub Designs MDM Think Tank met with Teradata MDM team members Robert Rich, Global Program Director, and Greg Thomas, Solutions Consultant – Center of Excellence, for a thorough and highly interactive session to take a look at the 3.2 release of the Teradata offering with “two” names: Aprimo Master Data Manager and Teradata MDM.
Teradata has distinct visibility as a large enterprise vendor for data management and analytics solutions. Teradata has had a MDM solution for some time that was proprietary to its own solution platform. Teradata entered the MDM market in 2006, with core MDM technology purchased from i2 Technologies.
Augmentation for that initial MDM solution has come from the Aprimo acquisition of January 2011. While Aprimo is best known as a marketing resource management platform, it has also developed master data management capabilities. The 3.2 release of Teradata MDM merges Aprimo MDM capabilities with Teradata’s original MDM technology, all of which draws on the power of the overall Teradata database platform.
There is some difficulty in positioning Teradata Aprimo MDM among the array of MDM vendors. While Teradata itself is a large vendor, its MDM offering has somewhat limited scope when compared to other vendors, primarily because it is meant only for the Teradata technology platform.
Gartner shares its view in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Customer Data Solutions, where Teradata MDM is mentioned in the “Other Vendors” note and is not included in the Magic Quadrant itself:
Teradata sees MDM as an integral part of data warehouse solutions, and views data mart consolidation as an ideal opportunity to achieve data synchronization with analytical MDM; however, it also supports workflow-oriented operational MDM use cases with central authoring. Teradata MDM has the most experience in managing product and supplier data, not customer data…
We estimate that Teradata has a total of 23 MDM customers, including five managing customer data. In addition, over half of Teradata’s 1,400 data warehouse customers use Teradata for aspects of customer data management. We estimate its 2011 MDM software revenue at $3 million.
Teradata has gained traction in managing customer data, which has been augmented with the 3.2 release of Aprimo MDM. It will be interesting to see the Gartner analysis of Teradata MDM in the next Magic Quadrants for customer and product data.
The current target market for the MDM offering is Teradata’s installed base. The MDM team is also seeking out ‘net new’ customers who are interested in the overall Teradata infrastructure, as well as MDM capabilities. Existing Aprimo customers who are not currently Teradata customers also present potential opportunities.
The Teradata approach of providing MDM capabilities only for the Teradata data management environment cuts two ways. In one direction, there are vendor lock-in issues – not allowing potential customers to do much mix-and-match for solution architecture – although integrations with other systems and database platforms are possible through various methods.
But cutting the other way, a key competitive aspect of Teradata Aprimo MDM centers on the power and performance enhancements that come from using the Teradata platform. Using the Teradata database instead of in-memory processing for MDM functions usually leads to better performance and decreases in processing time, especially for large datasets and/or complex processing requirements.
Current Focus of Teradata MDM
Teradata is interested in solving problems for large enterprises such as redundant data in multiple systems with no cross-reference:
- Source systems not in sync – some having stale data
- No single version or source of truth
- Cannot do analytics like “Sales by Customer across business lines”
- Cannot optimize business processes across function
Teradata sees these benefits in its approach to MDM:
- Enables ‘Single View’ of Customers, Products, Locations and the relationships between them
- Supports consistent organization and governance of business data
- Coordinates introduction / onboarding of new Products, Suppliers, Customers
- Drives a single accurate view of master / reference data into analytics and business processes
From the Teradata perspective, enterprises should be able to leverage a common data model both for MDM and the enterprise data warehouse (EDW), and for all domains including party, product, location, financial, and reference data.
Current target industries include: manufacturing, media and entertainment, finance, retail, healthcare, telecom, and government sectors. Large organizations that have adopted Teradata MDM include: Daimler, Intel, Hershey’s, Telstra, Vodafone, and Miller-Coors.
Customer use cases include:
- Achieving unified views of customer and sales data
- Organization of business hierarchy data for the sales channel
- Supply chain data management
As is the case for data integration software solutions, the number one ‘competitor’ that Teradata encounters for MDM is custom-coded / in-house solutions. Top vendor competitors include Informatica, IBM, Oracle, and SAP.
MDM in the EDW
The Teradata Aprimo MDM offering is based on the premise that the Teradata platform (and the enterprise data warehouse) is the right place for MDM, with the notion that most of what is considered master data is already in the EDW.
As such, master data is co-located with transactional data in the EDW, with each set defined by separate schemas, and with no separate hub for MDM.
The Teradata platform enables fast interaction between MDM and EDW schemas. Data that starts on the Teradata platform can then be registered into MDM; a reference data view in the EDW can fold into master data constructs. This approach is based on complex architecture but also provides a lot of power, and many tools and capabilities to optimize MDM for Teradata platform users.
An application server architecture underscores MDM functions and processes, since the EDW doesn’t provide all that is needed for MDM and data governance. The applications layer provides: staging to validate data, create error tables; event-driven processes around data validation; hierarchy management; third party data services; and other relevant services. Teradata can push master data back into transactional systems and databases through ETL layers, using any of the usual methods of data integration available to sophisticated data management platforms.
For the most part, the Teradata platform is a high end technology solution — but a lower cost entry point for MDM can come through a Teradata appliance, which may help attract ‘net new’ customers.
The Teradata offering includes many of the expected capabilities for MDM and data governance, particularly for the needs of large enterprises. Teradata claims a flexible data model to encompass any MDM data configuration or use case.
The workflow engine provides configurable processes, with extensive capabilities for leveraging business rules for fine-tuned management. Through the Teradata platform, geospatial capabilities for location intelligence are available to MDM projects.
Data management functions such as data quality are handled in the MDM application layer, and then persisted to the EDW. MDM processes can be exposed as services to provide real time integration with other applications. There are no native data quality capabilities, but Teradata MDM integrates with third party data quality tools. Typical partners include Trillium, DataFlux, and SAP Data Services.
Data profiling is still a work-in-progress for Teradata MDM, and is accomplished primarily through the rules validation framework. More capabilities for data profiling are coming in the next release.
Teradata MDM is agnostic as to third party tools for BI reporting, dashboards and data visualizations – Tableau and BIRT were both mentioned as frequent choices for Teradata users.
The demo ran through a data-cleansing, match-merge process, with iterations through various profiles to cleanse and validate data. For such iterative processes managing multiple profiles, the Teradata platform brings performance enhancements, particularly to reduce processing time.
Teradata MDM provides an Eclipse-based environment for the design and deployment of MDM applications. Another interface is browser-based which Teradata sees as a faster, more flexible choice for ‘power business users’ for handling certain MDM and data governance tasks without intervention from IT or data management technology specialists.
Teradata qualified the ‘power business user’ as more than data domain experts — basic knowledge of statistical analysis and SQL are also required. This actually means a very technology-adept user, not just a typical business user who is a line-of-business data expert.
As with other data management vendors, the reality is that most interfaces are still too technical for ‘regular’ business users. The notion of making certain activities of MDM and data governance available to business users is a good one – but there is still work to be done to achieve greater interface usability, which is true for any vendor at this point.
What’s Next for Teradata Aprimo MDM
The 3.3 release is slated for mid-2013, and continues the Aprimo Master Data Manager name. New capabilities will include:
Out of the Box data quality services and advanced workflow services:
- Integrated Data Profiling for improved Data Cleansing and Data Quality visibility
- Integrated Address Verification as part of Data Cleansing for CDI
- Customizable workflow created and managed directly by data stewards
Customizable Services and Features:
- Integrated Data Profiler for Values, Frequency, Histogram and Descriptive Stats visualization
- Global Address Verification support as extension to CDI Cleansing Rules
- Integration with D&B and Acxiom data enrichment services
- Runtime extensible workflow framework
About the Author
Julie Hunt is the editor of Hub Designs Magazine, and an independent software industry analyst and consultant for solution and customer strategies.