Why The “Upside-Down” Approach Doesn’t Work For Multidomain MDM


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OK, where were we… Oh right! Sorry for the interruption in blogging. We’ve all been busy getting acclimated to our new surroundings in Redwood Shores and getting to know our new colleagues in the Informatica family. The process has been really smooth and we’re all excited about continuing to move MDM forward backed by the Informatica brand.

Way back in December I promised a post on the differences between the application approach versus the platform approach for cross-industry, multidomain MDM use cases. So, let’s take up that subject to inaugurate the new Informatica MDM Blog. The impetus for the original blogpost was the claim, made in Gartner’s 2010 predictions for MDM, that the number of companies shopping for multidomain MDM solutions would increase in 2010. It’s a completely understandable prediction, and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. What I take issue with in the Gartner predictions, however, is the contention that no vendor has a comprehensive multidomain MDM technology that handles all different industry use cases and different data domains.

It’s a supportable statement if you are referring to “MDM Application” approach, but not if you’re using the “MDM Platform” approach. In fact, many of our customers do in fact use a single MDM Hub to address multiple business use cases and multiple data domains. The platform/application distinction is an important one, so let’s look at it in a bit more detail. Both can address a pressing business problem that is caused by inaccurate, incomplete, and inconsistent data. However, an application approach can only solves the business problem for which it was designed.

MDM applications typically come with a predefined data model, business logic or functionality, and specific graphical user interface (GUI). This type of architecture precludes extending MDM applications to other business problems. The concept is similar to buying an off-the-shelf sales force automation (SFA) application for managing the sales pipeline or a procurement application to manage the purchase of direct or indirect materials for the supply chain. The paradox of this approach is that it inevitably leads to more data silos and cost overruns. And, because it starts with the application rather than the data, we call this the “upside-down” approach.

Next up we’ll explore the MDM platform approach and why it provides a superior, right-side alternative.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar is Senior Director, MDM Product Marketing, Informatica. Shankar is responsible for product and technical marketing activities for master data management (MDM) as part of the Data Quality business unit at Informatica. Shankar joined Informatica following the Siperian acquisition, where he ran product marketing. He helped position the company as a proven leader in multidomain MDM.


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