MDM is all about connecting up and managing versions of what should be shared data. Generally people worry about their internal systems, since numerous distinct systems in an enterprise typically think that they “own” a particular piece of master data such as customer, product or asset. However, in addition to this it also important to consider external data i.e. data that you do not control within an enterprise but which you still need to relate to your own data. There is more of this than you might imagine, and MDM vendors would be well advised to take account of it. One example is Siperian’s recent link to Standard & Poor’s counter-party data, but there are many other cases. Purisma did such a job of linking to D&B data that D&B bought the company.
Other types of common external data are consumer data from Acxiom or Experian, patient data from IMS, financial and news data from Reuters and doubtless many more, some of which will be industry specific. Mapping such data back to internal systems is an important and non-trivial job e.g. D&B company data changes regularly, so it is more than just a one-off exercise.
MDM platform vendors would be well advised to consider building more such pre-built links to their platforms, as at present there are fairly few such links, yet customers surely will want these more and more as they deploy MDM more widely.