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Top companies seek out diverse data types

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Vice President and Principal Analyst, Aberdeen

This is the third in a three-part blog series exploring a best-in-class approach to MDM. Read part 1 and part 2 in the series.

Over the past few years, two major trends have overtaken the world of analytics and data-driven decision-making. The first trend is that an ever-increasing breadth and diversity of users have become curious about the power of data analytics to inform their most critical decisions. From the least technically inclined executive to the most sophisticated data scientist, more users want to be connected to data.

In a similar vein, the second trend is that there is an ever-increasing breadth and diversity data being called on to support business decisions. Traditional master data management (MDM) technologies were used primarily (if not exclusively) with data from structured, application-based sources and from relational databases. The bulk of data stored and managed in enterprise environments remains structured, but the evolved user base seeks a more inclusive data landscape from which to draw their most impactful insights.

According to Aberdeen’s research, best-in-class companies still rely heavily on traditional, structured data types, but are also far more inclined to leverage unstructured and other forms of data in their analyses, as we can see in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Top Companies Exploit a Wide Variety of Data

A top-notch MDM environment these days does more than simply manage or move data. Leading MDM users today leverage the technology and efficient analytics processes to create game-changing insights by discovering connections, correlations and significant interactions between different data sources and data types. As part of these efforts, demographic, firmographic and other data derived from external third-party sources is becoming increasingly important. Likewise, social media and other web-based sources of unstructured, text-based data have become very attractive as companies seek to capture and better understand customer sentiment, evolving tastes and preferences, location-based patterns and anything else they believe will provide competitive advantage.

While the single, best technology-based approach to this growing diversity of data isn’t entirely clear, it is clear that best-in-class performance is highly correlated with the ability to handle a wide variety of data types. This flexibility with regard to data, in concert with increased access to and availability of it — not to mention strong governance and oversight of that data — are all elements of best-in-class MDM execution.

As a result, according to our research, best-in-class companies enjoy greater organizational trust in data, an accelerated decision-making process and measurable improvement in both profitability and revenue growth. Behind the impact, evolving solutions, like IBM Master Data Management, continue to empower organizations to enable discovery transformation, self-service access and collaboration to accelerate insights for the people and systems that need it.

Learn more by reading about new IBM graph-based exploration and multi-domain summary view capabilities, and by downloading the Aberdeen report, Modern MDM: The hub of enterprise data excellence.