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Is Master Data Management (MDM) unique to Pimcore?

One of Pimcore’s best features is its combination of PIM and MDM technologies. Many PIM systems do not incorporate MDM capabilities, and in this way, MDM can be considered unique to Pimcore.

What is Master Data Management?

Master Data Management (MDM) tools are technological systems that consolidate, organise, and clean up data across multiple other business applications. MDM systems both create and maintain an organisation’s data. The outcome is a consistent set of master data that can be relied upon to be accurate and current. Gartner Group describes master data as “consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies and chart of accounts.”


What is the data in an MDM?

The data part of MDM typically relates to the products, goods, services and offers of a company, however an MDM tool can also be used to manage information about customers, vendors and suppliers. However, data can also be abstract; processes and technological hierarchies rather than related to physical people, places or services.


Why MDM?

While datasets are often used for different purposes, the same types of data are often shared across an organisation. Master data is the accurate set of data that is used across the organisation and populated in multiple systems; that is why this consistency within the systems is required. 

Any organisation in which data is shared across multiple systems has the responsibility and the necessity to have MDM in place. An MDM solution will provide the organisation with a single accurate data set populated across multiple systems.

MDM can be the solution for a range of data-related problems. MDM enables you to:

  • Improve data quality and consistency
  • Fix data problems
  • Improve operational efficiency 
  • Deliver accurate reporting and business insights



Who is responsible for MDM?

In most cases, master data can be perceived as an IT-related issue. However, MDM exists to enable the success of an organisation on its entirety. A successful implementation will become the lifeblood of the organisation and will help all facets of the business. For that reason, it is essential to establish a shared responsibility for creating and updating records.  


Are PIM and MDM the same thing?

While PIM (Product Information Management) and Master Data Management (MDM) share some similarities, they are not the same thing. 

PIM systems are designed to help businesses centralise and manage all of their product data in one place, ensuring that it is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date. PIM focuses specifically on managing product data, including product names, descriptions, attributes, pricing information, and other product-related information. 

The MDM is a broader concept that encompasses the management of all types of master data across an organisation, not just product data. Master data includes data related to customers, suppliers, employees, and other entities that are critical to the operations of a business. MDM systems are designed to help businesses manage all of their master data in a centralised way, ensuring that it is accurate, consistent, and accessible across the organisation. 

While PIM and MDM are not the same thing, they are often used together in businesses that have a large amount of product data. By integrating PIM with MDM, businesses can ensure that their product data is consistent with other types of master data, such as customer and supplier data, providing a more complete view of their operations.


What are the most powerful aspects of PIM?

The most powerful attributes of PIM are often the business drivers for implementation, and include:

  • Increased revenue- through improved cross-sell, up-sell, customisation
  • Improved customer relationships- enhancing brand loyalty and customer care
  • Greater agility- with an increased capacity to adapt activity in response to changing business needs
  • Cost benefits- through the reduction of manual tasks and more accurate and responsive transaction processes and records
  • Compliance- an improved response to mandatory data standards, regulations and laws


What are the major deterrents of companies in the implementation of PIM? 

There are several reasons why companies may avoid implementing a PIM system. Some organisations may not fully understand the benefits of, or may not see it as a priority compared to other initiatives. Another reason is the challenge of getting buy-in from stakeholders and ensuring data quality. PIM requires collaboration and consensus among various departments and teams, and can be difficult to implement without strong executive sponsorship and a clear business case. 


Is the implementation of PIM costly for companies interested?

Cost is another reason cited by some companies for their reluctance to implement a PIM. However, the costs of ineffective data management are much greater. However, there are PIM solutions available at a variety of price points. Systems can be priced per user or be related to the size of the product collection.

Once fully operational, PIM tools can also lead to cost savings, through reductions in:

  • Spend on marketing, content management and communications
  • Time spent handling product information and carrying out stock updates
  • Costs associated with adding or removing items from a catalogue
  • The number of complaints and refunds


What are the best industries for PIM?

A PIM solution like Pimcore is ideal for businesses in retail, manufacturing, wholesale, and e-commerce industries. However, any industry that deals with large amounts of product data can benefit from a PIM system. 

Some examples of industries successfully implementing PIM systems include fashion, apparel, electronics, furniture, and automotive. The main goal of a PIM system is to centralise and organise product data, so any industry that manages a vast amount of product information can benefit from implementing a PIM system.


What are the major deterrents of companies in the implementation of MDM?

Other businesses may see little value in an MDM. One common reason for deciding against an MDM is the perceived cost and complexity of implementing a MDM solution. MDM does involve consolidating and managing data from multiple sources, which can require significant resources and expertise to set up and maintain. Ensuring data accuracy and consistency can also be a significant challenge, particularly when dealing with large volumes of data from disparate sources. Finally, some companies may be reluctant to implement MDM due to concerns around data privacy and security. 

MDM involves aggregating and managing sensitive data, which can be a target for cyber-attacks or other security breaches. Ensuring proper data protection measures and compliance can be problematic, and is another example of where PIM and MDM can work well together.


Data Governance and PIM

Research continues to suggest that data governance is poorly managed in our organisations. Combined PIM with MDM systems help with data governance by providing a centralised platform for managing product data. This works by:

  • Enforcing data quality and standards with record assessment, correction and validation
  • Protecting sensitive data such as customer records, payment details, credit card numbers, reducing the risk of data breaches
  • Creating audit trails to demonstrate how data is used, and to aid in financial and other reporting
  • Enabling growth though the capacity of the PIM tool to scale as product data and records are accumulated


Combining MDM with PIM

When considering your approach to data and product management across complex networks and channels, it makes good sense to consider combining both MDM and PIM capabilities. Using MDM functionality in your PIM systems helps to ensure that your product information is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date.

The first benefit of combining MDM with PIM is an improved capability in the channelling of master data records through catalogues and websites. Master data records give your product listings consistent and designed data elements, including product names, descriptions, variations and customisation capacity. By using master or “golden” records, you can be confident your sites are operating within a framework of single source of truth. 


Applying MDM attributes in PIM

Master data records also enable you to set up hierarchies of products, attributes, sub-brand, genre and other categories, so that you can search across the PIM system for particular products. This gives customers an improved search experience but also increases the likelihood of them finding the unique product from your collection that they are after. Leading a customer to the product they want increases the chance of a sale; and reduces their frustrations. 

MDM tools also manage data standards and ensure data consistency across systems and records. When a PIM functions with or contains an MDM function, data can be globally updated and more easily compared and reported. 
Using a PIM system to carry out MDM activities makes it easier to put consistent and reliable information to both employees and customers. 



Related Questions

What constitutes an MDM?

There are more than 120 MDM products reviewed on G2. To be detailed as an MDM tool, the solution must:

  • Track data from multiples sources related to an organization, specifically department performance metrics
  • Consolidate, organize, and store master data, filtering for duplicate information and inconsistencies and presenting findings in a clean format
  • Provide administrators with tools and/or initiatives related to master data
  • Export MDM data as necessary to other software tools


Which MDMs are highly rated by users?

Of these, six have received more than 4.5 stars. The five-star MDMs on G2 are

  • Pimcore
  • Syndigo
  • Akeneo PIM
  • Semarchy xDM
  • Zeenea
  • Lobster Data

Pimcore has received 4.5 stars from 44 active reviews. Customers describe Pimcore as having helped them to “connect e-commerce and retail stores seamlessly” and a “multifunctional and hyper-flexible hub for data management at its best.” Contact us to learn more about how we can improve your digital and omnichannel experiences through Pimcore!

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