Happy New Year everyone! I started last year with a blog on the trends we would see in 2015 and beyond. I highlighted eight key predictions on Master Data Management, Data Quality, Data Governance and Data as a Service that we collectively call information quality solutions.

Looking back to what I offered (after spending a lot of time with other leaders in MDM space and my experience working with customers in the different spectrum of MDM adoption), I am happy to tell you that we did a good job in forecasting what was ahead of us.

PredictionsTo name a few things that stood out –

  • Many customers are demanding multidomain support in the solution so they can have one system for their current and future master data domain requirements.
  • MDM is becoming an integral part of analytics efforts. Many customers I talk to are using MDM as a backbone to big data analytics where the success of the project heavily depends on quality business-critical data about customers, products, locations, and suppliers.
  • I see massive adoption of solutions purpose-built for a particular industry or use case. Customers are looking for vendors to build solutions for them on top of an extensible MDM platform.
  • MDM on Steroid? Yes, it is. Many customers are looking to supercharge their existing MDM system or use some of the MDM capabilities such as matching on Hadoop to address both volume and velocity of data acquisition from internal and external data sources.
  • The market is still solidifying for cloud-based MDM adoption, but as I said in the blog, floodgates are yet to open. The enterprise MDM is very much on premise, but customers are asking for MDM solution to integrate well with the data that resides on the cloud such as Salesforce & Marketo.

2015 was an excellent year for MDM and me personally. As a product marketer, I got to spend much of my time with customers, learning more about the type of business problems they are solving using MDM.

As I analyze the past trends and look into what customer are demanding, here are few speculations about what may be in store for master data management in 2016.

MDM will become critical for driving customer experience: According to Gartner, the majority (89%) of the companies believe that customer experience will be their primary basis for competition by 2016. I predict

  • MDM of customer data will continue to be the biggest criteria for MDM adoption in 2016
  • More executives will realize MDM is at the heart of providing exceptional customer experience (As observed in Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego last year).
  • Organizations will use MDM as a critical tool in their preparation for the competitive battlefield of tomorrow.

MDM will help achieve Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) synergies faster: According to SpendMatters article, 74% of respondents report M&A plans in the next year. MDM is exquisite requirement for the organizations to ensure the faster realization of M&A synergies. Many companies are finding it hard to integrate a variety of systems resulting from such activities. There is only a handful of organizations that planned ahead their MDM initiatives with M&A in mind. These organizations are seeing their efforts bearing fruits. Although I do not see companies invest solely in MDM to speed up M&A, I believe that it will be a priority for CIO’s & executives planning, carrying out, and integrating data as a result of M&A.

MDM & Big Data use cases will see a substantial rise: 2015 was pivotal year where I saw few organizations leveraging the full potential of MDM by fueling accurate data for their Big Data initiatives. The combination of MDM and Big Data gives rise to a variety of use cases. I would like to highlight three particular types of usage we will see more in 2016.

  1. Matching, grouping/clustering (ex: Households) will move to Hadoop so organizations can apply MDM techniques to large scale data
  2. Linking of master data to interactions, transactions, social media data, to drive specific use cases will demand purpose build apps that leverage big data technologies
  3. Organizations will look for ways in which they can offload some of their existing MDM processing to Hadoop to ensure timely delivery of data.

Customers will demand an integrated solution: Over the years, we have seen that success of MDM depends on other factors such as data profiling, data quality, data integration, data enrichment, Business Process Management and data security. I predict that customers are going to demand a solution that provides all these capabilities as a combined offering.

It is an exciting time to be here for sure. Let me know what you are seeing. Also, check out, predictions from my blogger friend Henrik Sorensen. Henrik has spelled out three ‘gut feelings’ as he puts them, but I have a hint they make accurate predictions.

Please comment.