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The skinny on MDM from SAP

Read Joshua Greenbaum's expert opinion on SAP's master data management (MDM) and how it plays into business intelligence.

I've been hearing a lot about MDM from SAP lately. Can you provide an outline of what it is and how it might be helpful for business intelligence?
SAP Master Data Management (MDM) is a product that allows companies to solve the age-old and costly problem of having too many simultaneous versions of such key data elements as, "customer," "part," "employee," and the like. This heterogeneity is an artifact of running multiple enterprise software products, each with their own way of managing data storage.

MDM allows companies to solve this heterogeneity problem in a number of ways, from designating a single application as the "owner" of the data master, to letting MDM "own" the data master and synchronize each individual application as the master data changes. This allows business intelligence (BI) applications to overcome the problems of heterogeneity and provide analysis based on a "single version of the truth."

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