The continued application explosion is creating a hot bed for customers looking to better manage the data that these apps are creating.

While not new, the pervasive use of master data management (MDM) is on the rise, and South African businesses are according to TechSoft International, looking to MDM for more than just a management tool for big data.

The application of MDM rose from the business need to have more consistency in data, with specific reference to the quality of data assets including product data, asset data, customer data, and location as examples. But the push to the cloud and the sheer volume of application data available today are the primary catalysts for a change in “data thinking”.

“Much like every country in the world South African businesses have to tip toe through a host of regulatory and compliance requirements relating to their data. But that said, big data has until recently, been a discipline that only the banks and the JSE’s top 50 managed to get on top of,” states Clinton Scott, MD of TechSoft International. “With the entrance of the hyperscalers, a growing cloud appetite, the use of AI and ML, and a surge in the development of bespoke born in the cloud apps, data management has once again become a conversation around the boardroom table.”

The exclusive territory partner of Tibco in Sub-Saharan Africa, TechSoft is in an enviable position to understand the importance and need for MDM, as Tibco recently announced that it has for the fourth consecutive year been named a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions.

With an effective MDM solution a business can take fragmented data from multiple source systems and manage the flow, destination and source of this data. But MDM on its own is just a management tool, which is why Tibco is now throwing data virtualisation into the mix. Now when users add the ability to attach ownership to data and create a single referenceable point for it through virtualisation, they can start to leverage and apply advanced analytics to support business decisions and insights.

According to Scott, there are also a number of industry factors driving the need for better data management. Not least of which is an explosive IoT market amongst local manufacturers and engineering firms, not to mention the need for more consumer centric data demanded by retailers who are under huge pressure as a result of reduced consumer spending.

It is important to note that MDM is not an analytics platform. It is the foundation of good data governance and management that then opens up the pathway for a business to conduct.

“The Tibco EBX solution (a component in Unify), is that it boasts capabilities for MDM, metadata management, and data virtualisation. When these capabilities are combined, a user can create a complete view of their customer, product, asset, location, and even reference data. This means that your data fabric becomes an extension of your business fabric. By bringing together all data, and unifying it as a source, your ability to execute on business decision-making becomes all that more powerful.

“The days of data for data’s sake are long gone. South African businesses are tired of investing in data solutions that seemingly present well on paper, but do nothing for them in practice. With an overarching MDM solution that factors in data virtualisation as well as data management – they can finally move past the concept of having a good looking glass house to store data in well.

“And, rather start using their data to define stock in and out, failings in logistics, customer buying behaviours, and opportunities for product development. In short, make quantified business decisions that feed directly to the bottom line,” says Scott.