What is MDM and Social PIM?


Master Data describes the entities that are both independent and fundamental for an enterprise, that it needs to reference in order to perform its transactions. Master data describes individuals, organizations, locations, goods, services, rules and regulations.

Master data management (MDM) is a comprehensive method of enabling an enterprise to link all of its critical data to one file, called a master file, which provides a common point of reference. MDM streamlines data sharing, ensure data accuracy and consistency across multiple systems.

Gartner highlights three trends that will shape the master data management market:

  • Growing Demand for Multidomain MDM Software. By 2014, 66 percent of Fortune 1000 organizations will have deployed two or more MDM solutions to support their enterprise MDM strategies.
  • Rising Adoption of MDM in the Cloud . By 2015, 10 percent of packaged MDM implementations will be delivered as SaaS in the public cloud.
  • Increasing Links Between MDM and Social Networks. By 2015, 15 percent of organizations will have added social media data about their customers to the customer master data attributes they manage in their MDM systems. 

“MDM has become a critical discipline required for dealing with the challenges of social data, ‘big data’ and data in the cloud.”

Colleen Graham, research director at Gartner

MDM of product data solutions are software products that:

  • Support the global identification, linking and synchronization of product information across heterogeneous data sources through semantic reconciliation of master data
  • Create and manage a central, database-based system of record or index of record for master data
  • Enable the delivery of a single product view (for all stakeholders) in support of various business benefits
  • Support ongoing master data stewardship and governance requirements through workflow-based monitoring and corrective action techniques

The information about a particular product is distributed across the enterprise, in numerous applications, spreadsheets and systems, multiple departments owning small piece of the overall data, making edits and revisions.Product Information Management (PIM) includes processes, information and technology to establish a single and reliable view of products that can be used in an enterprise and throughout customer, partners and suppliers.

Product Information Management (PIM) solutions are applications that are designed to create a single view of the product for an enterprise, across operational and analytics uses, independent of any other repository of product data. PIM solutions store master data (or metadata) related to products and other attribute data pertaining to product.PIM systems can operate as a system of record (where product and additional data is initially created and subscribed to by remote, consuming systems), as a system of reference (where systems subscribe to remote master data using the PIM solution as a “look up” to locate and access the data) or as a mixed record/reference deployment.

Using PIM companies achieve the following results in average according Gartner research:

  • Cutting costs in the logistics system: 15%
  • Reducing the cost of purchased items: 5-20%
  • Decrease in stocks and illiquid 20-40%
  • Service improvement (increase in the proportion of timely deliveries): 20%

PIM initiative drives procurement savings by consolidating spend and reduce working capital by identifying duplicates.

There are three key points in product information management:

  1. item identification that is about unique product record without duplicates,
  2. item management that is about ownership of the product record,
  3. product information quality – complete, actual and comprehensive product information available to interested parties.

Product information should be aggregated from back-office applications, websites, catalogs, human entry, spreadsheets, industry data pools, and other sources of content that exist in a variety of systems and formats throughout the enterprise and your company’s trading partner relationships.

Social MDM and Social PIM

Master Data industry professional believe that in the future data quality management will be more social. “The main difference between MDM as it has been practiced until now and Social MDM is that traditional MDM has been around handling internal master data and Social MDM will be more around exploiting external reference data and sharing those data.”

In the case of Customer Information Management, it is quite a clear concept. Social master data management (Social MDM) refers to the processes, policies and concepts used to gather and compile social media data sources – like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – into one master file. However, what about Product Information Management? Product information is created and actualized by manufacturers, customers, distributors and independent experts.

The product itself becomes social, that means that product has a profile like a person. Our vision is that every complex product will have an Actualog online profile. Sharing product data both inside the organization and with your suppliers and customers makes Product Information Management Social.