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October 8, 2007

Reflections on the Gartner MDM Conference

When I logged in this morning, I originally was going to write about the Gartner Master Data Management conference that happened two weeks ago, but got sidetracked by the Business Objects acquisition.

However, I decided that this is still worth a quick entry.

My top takeways from the conference were:

1) End users are just learning how to spell MDM. The most common questions that came up were, "How do I justify the ROI of an MDM investment?" and "How do I get started?" Both questions reflect that the end user market is still in learning mode.

2) Presentations were still very high level. There were not a lot of precriptive presentations with suggestions on what to do and how to do it. There clearly is a need for more precise description of what exactly people need to do to get going. This is reflected as well by the questions that people where asking per my first point. If this market is going to make it, we all have to get off the high level blah blah blah and get specific.

3) Just because a vendor calls what they do MDM doesn't make it so. As a vendor, this one kills me. If you are going to get up on the dais and talk about how you help improve MDM deployments, don't just take the stuff you used to sell as data quality or ETL or EAI or whatever and just give your old pitch and add MDM at the end of every third sentence. There are too many vendors who think that good marketing is just taking their existing stuff, adding the latest buzzword as a suffix or prefix and then trying to sell it. NOTE TO VENDORS - Your prospects are smarter than that!

By the way, there were also vendors who do provide real valued added MDM products as well so I don't want to lump everyone into the same bucket. But as for the charletons selling ice to Eskimos, remember that you can only do that once.

4) There is definitely a need out there for solutions that enable data consistency. Distributed computing has driven distribution of data which has driven inconsistency in data which has driven bad decision making, poor customer service, slow time to market for data intensive projects not to mention the difficulties of data governance in a distributed environment. End users are really suffering and there is definitely a big opportunity for those solution providers who can help improve data consistency for their clients.

Posted by Todd Goldman at October 8, 2007 12:00 PM


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