Understanding the new Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant and the IBM position

Director of Offering Management, IBM Analytics, IBM

The new Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Master Data Management (MDM) has been published, and what you might not notice at first glance is that this year, IBM chose not to participate. Gartner still included IBM in the MQ. However, we did decline to engage in the process and provide detailed data for evaluation. After many years of participating, you might be wondering why IBM declined the invitation. We would like to explain our position.

New Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant brings new point of view

The latest version of the MDM Magic Quadrant saw several changes, and we take a different point of view on where the MDM marketplace is going and how it’s been evaluated. The 2017 MQ combines customer and product data and emphasizes generic domains and styles. The model-agnostic, multi-domain approach is somewhat narrow. We see many customers implement MDM in pragmatic ways that encompass various models of a wider scope.

Based on this departure and the fundamental contrast in philosophies, it can be argued that such an evaluation will not adequately reflect the true market conditions as we see them. I see many other analyst firms that define MDM requirements more in line with the market reality, and these analysts provide positive views of our approach.

Our view of MDM

The overall MDM market is growing at double-digit rates. Many customers are realizing that MDM is an important cornerstone to their big data and analytics initiatives. They are looking to use their existing MDM solution as an integral part of modern enterprise analytics architecture to enable insight and compliance or have new MDM projects on the slate. While some expected big data to kill MDM, it became clear that many big data initiatives, including data lake projects, needed master data to realize optimal value. Our Big Match for Hadoop offering and the trusted views of customers support this. Governance is clearly a further driver for MDM, and new regulations make it very compelling.

We have recently reviewed our positioning of MDM as part of our Unified Governance platform to the market with solid feedback on our approach. IBM continues to demonstrate our innovations and investment to the market, and, most importantly, our valued customers. New capabilities and enhancements to existing features provide incremental value and proof of our ongoing investments with innovations in the area of self-service analytics, cognitive, machine learning, GraphDB, blockchain and Kafka. To illustrate this point, more than 70 percent of IBM MDM clients report improved data quality and availability. They are seeing an increased breadth of business capabilities (see the graphic below). In time, we hope that by taking a stronger stand on our point of view, we can more effectively influence Gartner. Declining the MQ was an important decision that demonstrates our confidence in our understanding of our client needs and the market. We are committed to keep Gartner up to date on our product direction, roadmap and, of course, client successes. We hope that, with that information, we can find a common ground on the MDM Market.

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