Master Data Management and Data Quality Services (MDM and DQS) RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Master Data Services (MDM) and Data Quality Services(DQS) are relatively new and ready-to-use services that have evolved on top of manual/semi-automated process and patterns in use for a long time. There can be scenarios where MDM and DQS can be used independently or both together.

    Master Data Management

    Managing master data is mostly required at an enterprise level to enforce consistency of master data among different sub-units so that all talk the same language and understand ‘an apple as apple’ so that enterprise-level MIS reporting and comparisons among unit data become more easy and consistent. Enforcing right security for master data is also important - allowing only the intended users access to relevant master data.

    Historical Problem – a case study

    I had my date with master data issues many years back – when the term-MDM was not even born. We were carrying out a custom ERP implementation. The customer had many business units located at different geographical units and the ERP product was being rolled out units. All the units were allowed to maintain their own master data.

    Everywhere it worked fine until we finally reached at the corporate headquarters. At the corporate level, it became extremely difficult to make comparison-reports between unit-level data. Financial accounting codes and groupings were all different for individual units; Item-names maintained with the inventory and stock management system won’t match; similarly for fleet management system, the vehicle naming conventions were all different for individual units.

    Criticality of the Problem

    Master data issues are more critical and relevant in the below mentioned scenarios.

    1. The sub units are distributed at various geographical locations.
    2. Sub units/departments have heterogeneous IT systems and security policies
    3. Merger/acquisition scenarios

    Patterns of Master Data Solutions

    Over the years, many patterns and best practices were evolved to address the master data issues. The following solution patterns are more prominent among all.

    1. Maintaining only a single copy of master data is a simple solution for enforcing consistency.
    2. Another approach is to maintain a single master copy at enterprise level that support modifications and additions and allow read-only copies at unit-levels.  
    3. A third approach is to allow the units to manage master data and periodically perform consolidation at enterprise level.

    All three approaches have merits and demerits.  

    Conclusion of the historical case-study

    In the ERP implementation scenario I mentioned earlier, the customer was already using the third approach - allow the units to manage master data - but without having any consolidation process at corporate level.  For all the master-data issues that popped-up at corporate level ERP-reports, we suggested a single solution – move to the second approach – that is to maintain only a single master copy at enterprise level that support modifications and additions and allow read-only copies at unit-levels. 

    Even though we identified the issue and reached a meaningful solution we still faced so-many challenges and operational issues. This was mainly because during those days there were no sufficient tools available in the market to address master data issues.

    Introduction of Microsoft MDS

    Microsoft MDM is trying to bridge this gap by providing tools, services and process as a standard solution for master data management. It has built-in features for creating business rules and entity based data validations.

    Data quality Services (DQS) and Master Data Management (MDM)

    DQS can be used for solving data-quality issues while building MDM solutions – In order to enable this, Data Quality Services functionality has been integrated into Master Data Services (MDS), so you can perform de-duplication on source data and master data within the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services Add-in for Microsoft Excel.

    But the Scope of DQS is not limited for MDM alone, it can be used for any requirement where common data-quality related issues are to be identified or solved.

    Data Quality Services consists of Data Quality Server and Data Quality Client. The DQS server is based on SQL server and the Client application enables you to perform knowledge management, data quality projects, and administration in one user interface.

    Additionally the DQS Cleansing component has been provided as a built-in component of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS 2012) so that you to perform data cleansing as part of an Integration Services package – without being forced to run a stand-alone cleansing project in the Data Quality Client application.

    Friday, February 15, 2013 10:23 AM

All replies

  • Hi JoseVargheseKonooran,

    Thank for the sharing. Hope other community members can benefit from this discussion.

    Mike Yin

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    Mike Yin
    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, February 18, 2013 1:54 AM