“My electricity bill is going through the roof, I need Green MDM!”
One popular new aspect we didn't cover in our book Enterprise Master Data Management: A SOA Approach to Managing Core Information. is the concept of Green computing.
According to a study by McKinsey & Co. entitled “Revolutionizing Data Center Efficiency Key Analyses”, data centers will surpass airlines as greenhouse gas polluters by 2020. That’s a nice attention getter and it might seem like a bit of a far reaching prediction. The problem with these statements is that they hardly ever get checked 12 years later. (I wonder if there is any comparative analysis on how good the predictions from the analyst firms are.) But regardless of the accurateness of this prophecy it is a fact that nationwide and worldwide power consumption by data centers is going up significantly, up to 16% year over year for a total estimated worldwide electric bill next year of $8.6B. This is supported by other studies. These numbers include the cost for powering the servers, but also for cooling, the lights, monitoring etc.
Higher energy cost is contributing to more interest in Green Computing technologies; these usually refer to the reduction of data center cost and energy consumption. Obviously Green Computing is not only good for the environment; there are also large potential cost savings for the business. A common area of interest is to look for technologies that reduce number of servers and the power requirements of individual servers.
Master Data Management (MDM) can help Green Computing in a number of ways. Some are directly related to the above mentioned energy cost, others are “green” in a different way.
MDM is aimed at providing accurate and trustworthy data regarding the most important business entities in the enterprise: customers, products, accounts, locations, etc. and to provide consistent use of those. For example it can provide a single, cleansed, version of customer data across the enterprise with appropriate access services. This single version can either be virtual, i.e. build on the fly from existing sources or actual, i.e. persisted and updated for every change in the sources.
Gartner defines several styles of MDM: Consolidation, Registry, Coexistence and Transaction. The Coexistence and Transaction styles offer the greenest potential. Consolidation and Registry could actually increase the required server footprint.
By reducing the number of repositories (copies) of master data in an organization there is an obvious opportunity to reduce the number of required servers. Reducing the amount of duplicate data via MDM data quality and data stewardship services means less redundant data is stored and used, which then leads to a reduction in energy requirements.
Deduplication and higher data quality through MDM can also lead to a reduction in cost and several “green” advantages:
- Better addresses leads to fewer duplicate and erroneous mailings and therefore a reduction in mailing cost. This also has the green advantage of reducing paper needs and reducing the energy consumption needed for transporting products and mail.
- Better contact information can reduce phone cost which has obvious business cost and energy savings. Keeping track of privacy preferences through MDM can lead to a higher hit ratio on the calls and therefore a reduction in energy needs of the call center.
- Better data can lead to better Business Intelligence (BI) and therefore to better business decisions. Some of these decisions can have green advantages such as e.g. keeping lower stock quantities and related energy savings.
In conclusion: Green MDM can be a win-win initiative, good for both the environment as well as the bottom line. Green MDM can go beyond the traditional Green computing area of saving IT resources and related energy consumption.
Enterprise Master Data Management
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Hi folks - welcome to our blog on all things related to master data management! We have finallyemerged from our caves, blinking into the unfamiliar sunlight, after working for 18 months on our book, Enterprise Master Data Management: A SOA Approach to Managing Core Information. All of us are taking some time to reacquaint ourselves with our families, who haven'tseen much of us over the past year and a half.
In my case, I had a conversation with my mom that was very similar to ones that I had with manyof my friends and family:
Mom: "So, son, what have you been doing for so long that you couldn't take the time to visitor call your mother?"
Delinquent Son: "I've been collaborating with five friends on a book about SOA and Master Data Management."
Mom: "Huh? What is 'master data management'?"
Delinquent Son: "Mom, as we say in our book (and yes, Mom, I am sending you a copy) master data is the core information used by enterprises across multiple business processes. This information includes data about customers, products, locations, suppliers and so on, as well as the relationships between the different pieces of master data.Master Data Management is the architecture, technologies and business processes that deliver an authoritative source of master data."
Mom: "When will you start speaking English? Put your lovely wife on the phone."
OK, it looks like I need a new approach to describing what MDM is all about. In conversations with otherfamily and friends, I ask them if they have ever had a problem with a business where the business just can'tseem to get the right information about them. Now that elicits some very interesting responses, and helpspeople get a perspective on the problems that we are trying to solve with MDM. A sample of some masterdata problems that have been experienced by the authors and some friends and family (with the nameschanged to protect the guilty):
- One author's mortgage provider continues to refer to him by his wife's last name, despite efforts to correct that problem (this was fictionalized in chapter 9 of the book.)
- Another of the authors tried to upgrade from an analog phone line (which was a second phone line) to DSL. He received a letter confirming the upgrade and was told the change would be made in the next week. Then the fun began. After 10 days had passed without the DSL being installed, he called the company. The first customer service representative (CSR) couldn't find his customer number. The next CSR found the customer number and the order number, but had no one to fulfill the order. The following day our intrepid author called back to the telco, only to find that the order request had been cancelled! This went on for four weeks, with calls of 1 hour every day to multiple help lines, where each help desk could not see the full set of correct master data (including one with an address from two years previous.) - An IBM colleague who works with our publisher tried to remove her ex-spouse's name from an account. The company told her that she could pay $60 to have his name removed.
- A customer told us that she and her husband each have 3 different entries in their financial services provider's customer information file. And one of the entries for her husband has his gender as female.
So, I called my mom (like a good son), and told her some of the stories above to give her a more concretenotion of master data, and the sorts of problems that master data management addresses.
Mom's response: "That's great, I really understand it now. But I have another question: What is SOA?"
If you have any suggestions on how to answer that one for Mom, please send us some comments :-)
Allen Dreibelbis has 30 years of experience in the IT Industry of which during 16 of those years he provided system integration and consulting services to Public Sector clients while working for IBM. His expertise spans enterprise architecture, software development, complex systems integration and Master Data Management. He currently is an Executive Architect in the IBM Software Group World-Wide Information Platform and Solutions Architecture Team. He developed the Master Data Management Reference Architecture in 2006 while collaborating with colleagues across the IBM SWG Information Platform and Solutions organization and the IBM Information on Demand Center of Excellence. He provides customer briefings and training about the Master Data Management Reference Architecture and conducts architecture workshops with customers for implementing Master Data Management Solutions within their enterprise. Mr. Dreibelbis holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Science from Penn State University.[Read More]
Dan Wolfson is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and the chief architect and CTO for the Information Platform and Solutions segment of the IBM Information Management Division of the IBM Software Group. He is responsible for architecture and technical leadership across the rapidly growing areas of Information Integration, Master Data Management and Industry Models. Dan's previous roles include CTO for Business Integration Software and chief architect for Information Integration Solutions. Dan has over 20 years of experience in research and commercial distributed computing ranging over transaction and object-oriented systems, software fault tolerance, messaging, information integration, business integration, metadata management and database systems.[Read More]
Eberhard Hechler is a Senior Certified IT Architect (SCITA) and Executive IT Architect, who joined the IBM Boeblingen Lab, Germany in 1983 as a junior programmer. After a 2,5 year international assignment to the IBM Kingston Lab in New York, USA, he has worked in software development, performance optimization and benchmarking, solution architecture and design, software product planning, management, technical consultancy and technical alliance management. In 1992, Eberhard began to work with DB2 for MVS, focusing on testing and performance measurements of new DB2 versions. Since 1999, his focus is on Information Management and DB2 UDB on distributed platforms. He is a currently the Technical Enablement Architect for IBM’s Information Platform & Solutions, working with System Integrators throughout Europe. Eberhard holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics (Diplom-Mathematiker) from Hamburg University.[Read More]
Ivan Milman is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM, focusing on security and governance in the Information Management area within IBM’s Software Group in Austin, Texas, USA. Over the course of his career, Ivan has worked on a variety of distributed systems and security technology, including OS/2 Networking, DCE, IBM Global Sign-On and Tivoli Access Manager, and Ivan has also represented IBM to standards bodies including The Open Group and IETF. Prior to his current position, Ivan was the lead architect for the IBM Tivoli Access Manager family of security products. Ivan is a member of IBM’s Security Architecture Board and IBM’s Data Governance Council. Ivan is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and a Master Inventor at IBM, and has been granted 12 US patents.[Read More]
Martin Oberhofer joined IBM in the IBM Silicon Valley Labs in the USA as a developer for a database technology. After returning to Germany, he joined the IBM Boblingen Lab from which he still works today as a Technical Consultant and member of the World-Wide IBM Software Group Master Data Management Center of Excellence. His areas of expertise are database technologies, Java software development, MDM architecture and IT system integration. His special focus area is integrating MDM systems into the operational IT landscape by synchronizing and distributing master data with SAP application systems. He provides architecture workshops to customers and system integrators. He holds a Masters degree in mathematics from the University of Constance/Germany.[Read More]
Paul van Run has almost 10 years experience in MDM and 15 years in IT. At DWL he was part of the R&D leadership team developing DWL Customer, one of the first dedicated CDI products in the market. After the acquisition of DWL by IBM in 2005 he became a Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) and he is responsible for the architecture of the IBM Master Data Management products: MDM Server (formerly WebSphere Customer Center) and WebSphere Product Center, both market leaders in their segments. Before coming to DWL Paul worked as a software developer in the Insurance Industry for an ING Group subsidiary in Canada. Paul holds a Master’s degree in Information Science from the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, Canada.[Read More]