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Andy Hayler on Simplifying the Master Data Management Evaluation Process

The Information Difference is well known for their clear and concise analysis of the master data management industry. You may have seen their MDM Landscape, which is an annual industry snapshot highlighting leading master data management solutions and market conditions. In this interview we ask Andy Hayler about tools that can help organizations choose the right MDM software for their program.

Orchestra Networks: Before we begin can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the Information Difference?

Andy Hayler: I have been in the master data management and information governance space for decades. I started my career with roles at Esso, Shell UK and Shell International. I went on to found Kalido, one of the first true master data management products back before the master data management industry even existed…

ON: …so it’s safe to say that you know a little about master data management? 

AH: (Laughs) Everyone at the Information Difference has a deep enterprise data management focus — you can see that reflected in our research agenda. One thing that sets us apart is that our perspective is strongly influenced by our experiences delivering data management solutions to the business. The consequence is that we take a pragmatic view of technology. We do not focus on what an idealized master data management solution should do, but rather, what works and what’s needed to get the job done. 

ON: You’ve recently released MDM Select reports for major vendors such as Informatica and Orchestra Networks, can you describe what MDM Select is?

AH: The Information Difference MDM Select Methodology evaluates MDM solutions across 200+ functional checkpoints that are relevant to MDM technology buyers. These functional checkpoints fall into six main categories:

  1. Data governance. Functions in this category are to help policy makers, owners, stewards and other roles to manage their data as a whole, and to measure how well they are performing towards their goals
  2. Business rules. The Business Rules category covers the definitions of master data (a business model), the rules that govern data against those definitions and the interaction between users and their master data with respect to those rules.
  3. Data quality. Data Quality includes functions to improve the accuracy of the information of your master data: matching, cleansing, profiling, enrichment and monitoring.
  4. Data provision. Data provision covers accessibility of data in the MDM environment for end user and reporting purposes.
  5. Data storage. Data storage covers the loading, safe storage and retiring (archiving and purging) of master data.
  6. Data movement. This category covers the distribution of data to downstream systems that want to use the master data (and the special case of federation, where the downstream system is another MDM hub in the situation where multiple MDM hubs manage a regional or business unit data management operation as well as a corporate one)

ON: Could you explain the meaning behind the breadth x depth figures in the MDM Select Reports?

AH: This chart is derived from the equal-weighted MDM Select analysis. This chart specifically focused on EBX5, your product. Breadth represents feature coverage against our 200+ functional checkpoints. Depth is the total aggregate score for the product as a percentage of the maximum score. And finally, the size of the bubble represents the overall score, weighting all functions equally. As you can see EBX is one of the strongest products and has the widest breadth of functionality.

But there are two things to remember.

First, several vendors offer a basic MDM product and a bundle that includes a number of related and somewhat integrated technologies at additional license cost (workflow tools, BI/reporting tools and data quality tools are the most common). In those cases we have treated the vendor as having two separate product offerings. This is why SAP and Informatica show up twice, once with their basic MDM offering and again with their full bundle of products. EBX5 shows up once because it is a complete solution that is delivered as one, well-integrated package.

Second, as previously mentioned the weightings of the six main MDM feature categories are equal in our reports. This won’t be the case in your organization as your MDM program will require different things. For example, if Data Governance is important to you’d weight that more strongly and that would increase the relative preference for EBX5 since it performs extremely well in this category. 

ON: If my organization is interested in using MDM Select, what do we do? And are there any other services that the Information Difference provides that might help prospective MDM buyers?

AH: Sure, more information about MDM Select can be found on our website here ( 

Also, we can be contacted here (