This webinar does a strong job of translating between the two:
It includes a handy mapping of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs to a “Data Management Practices Hierarchy” in which Foundational Data Management Practices:
- Data Governance
- Data Quality
- Data Management Strategy
- Data Platform/Architecture
- Data Operations
… are fundamental pre-requisites to enabling Advanced Data Practices:
- Big Data
- Service-Oriented Architecture
You have to address the pre-requisites before trying to deliver the advanced capabilities; you have to walk before you run.
One key metric I use to determine whether an organisation has learned to walk yet, is whether they’ve settled on their domain-particular definition/understanding of what constitutes Reference Data vs Master Data.
Master Data Management is a discipline or strategy analogous to DevOps in software development; both MDM and DevOps often get misunderstood as more tangible “toolings” or “skillsets”. Both disciplines depend for their efficacy upon a clear understanding of concepts and, in the case of MDM, those include:
- Reference Data: control over defined domain values for standardised terms, code values, and other unique identifiers; e.g. maintaining 9 possible gender codes. Technical-focussed.
- Master Data: control over master data values to enable consistent, shared, contextual use across systems; the “golden” source of your customer “Pat”. Business-focussed. Another example is Google’s storing a mater list of “buildings in the world”… this is not reference data.
Those 2x types of data can drive 2x subtly different infrastructure setups:
- Reference Data Architecture: a widely accessible Reference Data Management System controlsthe RD being fed to OLTP.
- Master Data Architecture: less control over MD; it comes from a System Of Record managed outside the main collaborative arch.
- A Combined R/M Data Architecture is also available.
Other handy definitions from the webinar linked above… some of these introduce a bold, almost orthogonal aspect, to the traditional definitions found for the relevant term:
- Data Steward: “someone who’s job it is to make data available as an organistional asset”
- Business (Process) Architecture: an insightful mapping of how MDM supports specific parts of the business and its processes
- Data Governance Personalities: usually described in terms of reoles & responsibilities but seldom given that “person” quality, these include steering committees, business data stewards, subject matter experts, data consumers, standards organizations, data providers, application users, BI & reporting users, application developers & architects, data integration developers & architects, BI vendors & architects, vendors, customers, partners, data governance council, and other IT professionals
- Library Science Professionals aka Data Curators: a class of professionals who were already doing a lot of this thinking & problem-solving long before they became hyped and manifested into the creation of the CDO role