One of the most exciting pieces of software to come down the pike in many years is one picked up in a recent acquisition by Hyperion Solutions. It's one of the reasons I have to be fairly jazzed about the kinds of systems I'll be able to build in the coming months. Formerly called Razza, it's Master Data Manager.
If you had asked me a month ago what was the best way to make money in the Enterprise Computing business, I would have told you Master Data Management. I wouldn't have used that precise term, I would have probably said something like this:
One of the biggest problems for me, in building systems with the tools I have is always the political problem of getting all the people talking the same language. A significant reason why DW initiatives fail is because the metadata is all over the place and everybody spends too much time chasing the data down rather than analyzing it. All I need are my tools (speaking of Essbase outlines) and then I get functional people and technical people speaking the same language, because everybody can see how the numbers and entities roll up. The reason Informatica is making all kinds of money in this space is because they promise to solve this problem.
Well here's what IDC says.
Master data management is a challenging, long-standing problem. But recent attention to business performance management and compliance represent a new opportunity to deal with the issue in a way that can improve both information accuracy and organizational agility.
With Hyperion's MDM, I believe the problem has been solved. As soon as I get a copy I'll get deep into the details, but basically this is a collaborative tool that will allow enterprises to manage all of their dimensions, whether they change slowly or quickly, back through history.
Imagining the worst spaghetti possible, a partial migration between ERP systems without the benefit of ETL, a MDM Server would get everyone on the same page. How many times have I had people squawk about the complexity of Peoplesoft Trees and complain that their reporting systems use one drill down and their interal reporting systems use another and that the Business Objects Universe was painstakingly coded with another? And how many times have I had to be the one to reverse engineer all that rot and put into my systems? Too many to count.
I'm going to have a field day with this tool. Believe that.