Companies are feeling the heat from a growing volume, variety, and velocity of data. In order to quickly get a handle on their data, many companies focus on a single domain. Often that domain is Product, also known as Product Information Management (PIM) or Product MDM.
The strategy to start with a single domain has made sense in the past. After all, a company can solve an immediate problem without overwhelming the organization. But what happens when they are ready to do more?
It’s for this very reason that the tide has been turning on MDM implementations. According to Gartner, the MDM market is shifting “toward a more holistic set of solution capabilities.” High on the list? Multi-Domain MDM.
Shifting to a Multi-Domain MDM Mindset
MDM entered the scene with single domain solutions. However, as Aberdeen tells us, “single-domain MDM solutions no longer address today’s data management challenges. Data is now more connected and interdependent than ever before.”
Today’s data is nuanced, complex, and originates from many upstream and downstream systems and sources. For example, product data isn’t just about the product – it’s about how and where it’s made, who distributes it, who supplies it, where it’s sold, how it’s sold, who buys it, etc.
The data amassed around products, suppliers, locations, and customers is not only important, it’s connected. And, understanding those connections unlocks incredible intelligence that can be leveraged in transformative ways.
Do you need ALL domains?
Some companies shy away from Multi-Domain MDM because they think the implementation would be overwhelming. The good news is that you likely don’t need every domain, and certainly not all at once. But with Multi-Domain MDM, you’ve got the choice.
Multi-Domain MDM gives enterprises the flexibility to choose a phased approach. This is so crucial in a world that requires agility, both in business decisions and digital transformation.
For example, product-focused companies may find that they can begin with a Product Domain, while still leveraging a forward-thinking Multi-Domain strategy that includes implementing Customer or Supplier data in the future.
Understanding Domain Types
According to Gartner, Multi-Domain MDM enables businesses to “advance from ‘collecting’ data for a single data domain to ‘connecting’ several data domains.” Let’s look at the most prevalent data domains and how they work together to bring companies greater insights.
A Product Data Domain helps companies manage a vast number of products and attributes, ensuring their data is up-to-date, consistent, and enriched. Product Domains are vital for both B2B and B2C enterprises, helping them participate in GDSN, achieve seamless syndication, power e-commerce, populate catalogs, quickly launch products, meet regulatory standards, and much more.
Companies maintain a golden record of customer information by resolving variations around spellings, names, addresses, etc when utilizing a Customer Domain. This trusted data can then be leveraged to enhance personalization, boost sales with targeted offers, and maintain compliance with data privacy standards like GDPR.
Enterprises can ensure the quality of their supplier data and view the data in context with Product or Customer for greater insights with a Supplier Domain. Companies often leverage Supplier Domains to improve supplier collaboration, accelerate time to market, gain negotiating power, optimize shipping, and speed supplier onboarding.
By utilizing a Location Domain, companies can drill data down into geographic areas, store locations, office branches, etc. Viewing data around products, customers, and suppliers by location helps companies improve their business decisions, save costs, streamline the supply chain, regionalize pricing and materials, etc.
Domains for Assets, Materials, Parts, and Beyond
There are supporting data domains that still provide high value for enterprises. For example, a company can use Digital Assets Management (DAM) to improve their e-commerce presence with images and videos. A company could also implement a Parts & Materials Domain to plan for spare parts procurement and reduce the risk of not having critical spares to drive efficiencies and savings.
Top Benefits of Multi-Domain MDM
Along with all the typical benefits of an MDM implementation, companies can also experience the following benefits that are unique to Multi-Domain MDM:
With a holistic approach to mastering data, Multi-Domain MDM helps companies connect the dots and gain intelligence around the relationships between customers, products, suppliers, locations, etc. Research by Aberdeen shows that companies with Multi-Domain MDM see significant improvement in decision accuracy and completeness of data.
When a company deploys a single-domain solution, they are likely signing up for added cost, resource strain, and fragmentation later on. That’s because the need to scale and evolve is inevitable. Multi-Domain MDM gives companies scalability with a long-term solution to manage their data and add additional domains as their needs change.
Unified Data Governance
When companies are stuck in single-domain silos, they face constant barriers to data governance. Multi-Domain MDM solves this issue by enabling companies to master enterprise-wide data through unified governance for all data domains.
According to DATAVERSITY, “With Multi-domain MDM solutions, it is much easier to ensure that standards are being met since there is only one repository for the Master Data…As a result of better principles of governance, cross-functional collaborations between departments is more likely to occur, resulting in increased efficiency and better resource allocation.”
What’s the Best Way to Adopt Multi-Domain MDM?
Multi-Domain MDM is more than technology, it’s a mindset. Platform selection is part of this process, but how you implement the platform is just as important, if not more so.
As you embark on a Multi-Domain MDM implementation, think about how you’ll take a phased approach that won’t overwhelm the business. What domains will work best for your unique needs? What are the processes you need? What practices will help you maintain, grow, and support long-term ROI?
The right partner can help you kick silos to the curb for good. We know because we’ve seen it work for many of our clients. Let’s talk about how we can help you get the most from your Multi-Domain MDM journey.
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