The antimatters of MDM (part 4)


In physics, antimatter has the same mass, but opposite charge, of matter. Collisions between matter and antimatter lead to the annihilation of both, the end result of which is a release of energy available to do work.

In this blog series, I will use antimatter as a metaphor for a factor colliding with a master data management (MDM) matter that not only annihilates it, but also prevents a release of energy needed to make MDM work.

I call these factors the antimatters of MDM.

The Big Bang

In a blog series using a physics metaphor, I would be remiss not to include the Big Bang, the massive explosion that rapidly expanded the universe from an extremely hot and dense state until things cooled off enough to allow all that energy to be converted into the atomic particles that are the building blocks of matter and antimatter.

Often when the obvious business justification for an MDM solution makes executive management not want to take it anymore, they start burning doing a neutron dance. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say just how some things never change. It’s hard to find any strength to draw the line, but their extremely hot and dense state explodes with the demand for a massive, rapidly expanding implementation attempting to solve all MDM-related business problems and related matters at once by dropping an antimatter bomb of technology on them.

A bad moon rising

While the universe began with the Big Bang, when MDM begins with one I see trouble on the way. I hear business hurricanes blowing, fear data rivers overflowing – and I hear the voice of technology run raging because there’s a bad moon rising.

Lycanthropy is the ability of a human to transform into a werewolf, a legendary beast possessing superhuman strength and senses as well as a cruel and inhumane thirst for brutal violence. The most common cause of lycanthropy is for a human to be bitten by a werewolf, after which he transforms into a werewolf whenever there’s a bad – and full – moon rising.

The silver bullet

According to the myth, a werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet, a legendary technology that has now become a metaphor for any simple solution to a complex problem.

MDM also has many of its own myths and legends, such as a single version of the truth. MDM also has its own form of lycanthropy, wherein although it is the humans who are bitten, they are not the ones who transform. MDM is often transformed into a legendary beast when its implementation complexity is revealed (perhaps by the light of a full moon). When we allow an MDM implementation to morph into a monster, we start believing in the magic of finding a legendary technology. We start believing a silver bullet is the only thing that can save us.

Although an MDM implementation is a complex challenge, it is not a legendary beast that can only be killed by a legendary technology. There is simply no silver bullet for MDM – and that’s no myth.


About Author

Jim Harris

Blogger-in-Chief at Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality (OCDQ)

Jim Harris is a recognized data quality thought leader with 25 years of enterprise data management industry experience. Jim is an independent consultant, speaker, and freelance writer. Jim is the Blogger-in-Chief at Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality, an independent blog offering a vendor-neutral perspective on data quality and its related disciplines, including data governance, master data management, and business intelligence.

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