Gartner Highlights Three Trends That Will Shape the Master Data Management Market


As the master data management (MDM) market grows and matures, new trends will help shape its evolution, according to Gartner Inc. IT and business leaders involved in MDM programs need to understand trends involving multi-domain MDM, MDM in the cloud, and MDM and social networking, so they can keep their strategies up to date.“These three key trends are generating increasing interest within the MDM market and will have a significant impact on it over the next few years,” said John Radcliffe, research vice president at Gartner.

Analysts are outlining the key issues facing the industry here through Thursday at the Gartner Master Data Management Summit.

The three trends that will shape the MDM market include:

Growing Demand for Multi-domain MDM Software

By 2014, 66 percent of Fortune 1000 organizations will have deployed two or more MDM solutions to support their enterprise MDM strategies.

Historically, most MDM initiatives have been oriented around a single master data domain. However, many organizations are now striving for a broader vision of how to achieve multi-domain capabilities over time.

What constitutes the ‘multi’ in ‘multi-domain’ differs by industry. Implementation phases tend to focus on individual data domains, even if the overall vision is multi-domain. On the supply side an increasing number of MDM software vendors promote their products as supporting multi-domain MDM. “Although this may be true at some level, it does not necessarily mean that the vendor can meet all multi-domain needs in a single product,” Mr. Radcliffe said. “When evaluating MDM software products to meet multi-domain MDM needs, organizations should evaluate each relevant master data domain and demand proof that the vendor can satisfy both the breadth and depth of their requirements.

Rising Adoption of MDM in the Cloud

By 2015, 10 percent of packaged MDM implementations will be delivered as SaaS in the public cloud.

Currently, MDM is typically implemented in on-premises solutions. Many industries, such as financial services, are reluctant to place such important, heavily shared information as master data outside the firewall. Equally, there is resistance to the idea that the governance of one's primary information assets can be left to an outsider. Privacy issues have also dampened adoption of software as a service (SaaS) in some regions, such as Europe. However, on-premises MDM solutions are increasingly being integrated with SaaS applications, and there are various cloud-sourced data services (such as data quality or data integration as a service) that can help with MDM implementations.

“On the supply side, very few MDM technology and service providers have, so far, developed specific MDM SaaS or PaaS products that are scalable, elastic and multitenant,” Mr. Radcliffe said. “But when they do, we expect them to exploit the cloud computing value proposition and increase their marketing of MDM in the cloud, in defined scenarios.”

Increasing Links Between MDM and Social Networks

By 2015, 15 percent of organizations will have added social media data about their customers to the customer master data attributes they manage in their MDM systems.

In a social customer relationship management (CRM) context customer insight derives from:

  • Sentiment analysis: What are people saying about my company, product or brand? This analysis can be either at the level of individuals or of an aggregate trend.
  • Network analysis: Who is that person? Whom do they know? How important are they as influencers?

Much social media analysis will be at the aggregate trend level. This analysis could prove very useful for understanding what the market thinks about a company, its products and its services. But if a company could identify the individual person who is ‘tweeting’ and what product or service they are referring to, that information would also be valuable, as they could act on their comments to protect their brand or provide a customized experience and product offering to that person.

“The ability to recognize key people who are valuable to a company and to act on their sentiments in a timely fashion may be important, but presents several challenges. One is how to deal with the sheer volume and complexity of the data. In addition, there is a need to identify key social networkers, by using identity resolution tools, and to link their identities and social networking behavior back to your organization's systems,” Mr. Radcliffe said. “The MDM system maintaining the master customer profile data will be a key integration point, so in the future a company’s MDM system for customer data will have to be ‘social networking aware’.”

About Gartner Master Data Management Summit

Gartner analysts are presenting more detailed analysis at the Gartner MDM Summit, being held May 4-6, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. This event provides an in-depth view of how MDM programs are moving into multiple domains — among customers, products and suppliers — gaining real-time integration with business applications and providing more support for smarter business decisions. Additional information is available at

Additional information is also available in the Gartner report "Three Trends That Will Shape the Master Data Management Market." The report is available on Gartner's website at