When people talk about unlocking the power of enterprise information they are often talking about analytical or data warehousing approaches which provide a nice big lump of central information for you to leverage. There is however another view on unlocking information, a view that works in real-time with your business. In this view it's MDM that quite literally provides the "keys" to unlock the information.
At the heart of good MDM systems is the core information which identifies an entity. The MDM solution knows not only this information but also the technical information that links it back to then source systems. This is the heart of the MDM Information RADAR
The MDM Information RADAR splits information into 4 groups
1 - Core information which is used to identify the entity
2 - Sync - information which has multiple editors and must be kept in sync
3 - Share - information which has one editor but lots of readers
4 - Federated - information from a single system which is required on demand
MDM adds an additional technical group which is the technical system keys that represent the entities. MDM therefore is about the management and quality in group 1, the co-ordination and standardisation in group 2 and providing the technical keys which enable the access to the other 2 groups. MDM is the gate keeper for the information of the enterprise not the repository. Thinking about MDM in this way enables you to take control of your information based on the business reality.
The reality is that information is federated, a single ODS is not the answer for multiple reasons including information latency, data privacy and data ownership. Big central ODS solutions are not the solution to today's fast changing world.
The reality is Federated Business Information (FBI) and it's MDM which provides, literally, the system keys to link this information across an enterprise. In a world where federation is the norm it's business madness not to place MDM at the heart of your information landscape.