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Research Reports

The Information Difference publishes research reports in PDF format. When you click on the document Add to cart button your selection will be automatically entered into the shopping cart. Within 48 hrs of completion of your purchase we aim to provide you with the document file.


How Does Your Data Governance Initiative Stack Up?
How Does Your Data Governance Initiative Stack Up?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - May 2016

This Information Difference survey returns to investigate the relationships between data governance, master data management (MDM) and data quality (DQ). In 2010 we conducted an in depth survey on this topic against the background of considerable media focus on the crucial importance of data governance and data quality initiatives to ensure the success of MDM implementations.

Now, six years on, we return to this area in an effort to once again explore and understand what progress has been made over the years. The aim was to find the current state of practice in data governance, the levels of effort involved and its success rate, and understand how well integrated it is with data quality and MDM initiatives. In other words, to address the question “How Does Your Data Governance Initiative Stack Up?”.


The report has 54 pages.
$ 850.00
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How much are you spending on Data Management?
How much are you spending on Data Management?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - July 2015

Recent surveys of the Information Technology market have suggested an overall increase in expenditure in 2015. What proportion of this increase will be devoted to the area of data management (including data governance, data quality, data warehousing and master data management) in 2015? How do you compare with your peers? Indeed, what are organizations planning for the future in this key area?

In this survey we investigated data management spending in depth. Respondents from some 100 companies and organizations across the world were invited to participate.


The report has 27 pages.
$ 850.00
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Is the Data Warehouse Dead?
Is the Data Warehouse Dead?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - January 2015

Big Data has generated much interest and attention in the media of late. Indeed, several authors have recently raised the question of whether Big Data approaches, such as Hadoop, will pronounce the death sentence on the conventional data warehouse.
In this survey we investigate the current state of the data warehouse and examine its recent challenger in the form of Big Data solutions as an alternative. Is the new technology really complementary or is the reign of the data warehouse nearing an end?

The report has 25 pages.
$ 850.00
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Data in the Clouds
Data in the Clouds
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - June 2014

Cloud computing has recently received wide press attention, however there is still surprisingly little concrete information available regarding the state of cloud computing initiatives in business. For example, what proportion of companies has implemented cloud implementations, how successful have they been, to what extent are master data management, data quality and data warehousing being deployed in the cloud, what benefits are companies seeing from in cloud deployment and what are the barriers and drawbacks to cloud computing?

In this survey we investigate the adoption of cloud computing in depth.

The report has 30 pages.
$ 850.00
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Big Data Revealed
Big Data Revealed
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - December 2013

The Information Difference survey, “Big Data Revealed”, was conducted over the Internet during the period October to November 2013. Although Big Data has recently received wide press attention, there is still surprisingly little concrete information available regarding the state of Big Data initiatives in business. We believed the time was ripe to survey this area in depth. In particular, we wanted to put hard numbers around some questions including:
  • How many companies have actually implemented Big Data technologies, and in what areas?
  • How much money and effort are organizations investing in it?
  • Which parts of the business are driving Big Data investments?
  • What benefits are they seeing?
  • Which data volumes are being handled?

A total of 178 respondents worldwide took the survey. 34% were from North America (including Canada), 43% from Europe and the remainder (22%) from the rest of the world.

The report has 32 pages.
$ 850.00
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The Adoption of MDM by Business Revisited
The Adoption of MDM by Business Revisited
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - July 2013

In April 2008, the Information Difference conducted a survey into the take-up and adoption of master data management (MDM) software. Now, in 2013, we revisit this area to understand what has changed over the past five years. In particular we addressed the following:
  • How many companies have implemented MDM?
  • How much effort are organizations investing in it?
  • How successful have they been?
  • What benefits are they seeing?
  • Which tools are being used to help?
A key objective of the study was to understand the extent to which the adoption of MDM has progressed in the past five years since our initial study.

Some 108 respondents from around the world took the survey, 66% from organizations with annual revenues of over $ 1 billion. 54% were from North America and 28% from Europe. A broad spectrum of industry sectors was represented.

The report has 22 pages.
$ 850.00
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The State of Data Quality Revisited
The State of Data Quality Revisited
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - April 2013

Although the issue of data quality has been with us for decades now it still remains an area of concern and debate. In 2009 we conducted a detailed survey of the state of data quality across enterprises. Given the substantial investments in tools and support, has the state of data quality and data management in organizations genuinely improved over the past four years? Or is data management generally still in a ghastly state with organizations feeling that the problem is overwhelming? Despite a surfeit of tools vendors (more than 30), and much press attention, there is still surprisingly little concrete information available regarding the state of data quality in business. In this survey, which was sponsored by SAP, we revisit the topic of data quality and examine what has changed over the past four years.

210 respondents from around the world completed the survey. Just over half of the respondents (53%) were from organizations having annual revenues greater than US$ 1 billion. Respondents represented a broad spectrum of industry sectors.

The report has 40 pages.
$ 850.00
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Does Big Data Mean Big MDM?
Does Big Data Mean Big MDM?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - November 2012

There has been a great deal of recent interest in the industry about how to deal with so-called Big Data, which is defined as follows: “Big Data is the term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. (Source: Wikipedia)”.

Despite this media attention there is scant concrete information on how organizations are addressing the issues underlying Big Data. How does this relate, if at all, to master data management (MDM), and what are organizations doing to consider the impact of the Big Data trend on MDM initiatives? In short, what do organizations believe to be the link between Big Data and MDM?  This survey, which was sponsored by Kalido and SAP, aims to answer these questions.

The report has 25 pages.
$ 850.00
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MDM Real-World Experiences
MDM Real-World Experiences
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - August 2012

In previous surveys we have charted the adoption and implementation of master data management from its early implementations to the present.  Over the past four years, since our first survey in 2008, much has changed in MDM both in technology and in implementation expertise and experience.  In particular, MDM has graduated from a novel innovative technology to become relatively mature and accepted.  It is increasingly being adopted by multinational organizations as a route to tackling their data inconsistency nightmares and delivering reliable and trusted business information.

This development has been accompanied by a wealth of publications in the media offering advice on how to embark on MDM projects and outlining what their authors believe to be best practices, but how reliable is this advice?  It seems to us to be time to ask the real life practitioners of MDM programs to share their views and experiences.  So, what is the current position based on the feedback from those who have real-world experience of implementing MDM?

The report has 24 pages.
$ 850.00
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MDM Market Research Survey 2012
MDM Market Research Survey 2012
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - July 2012

Master Data Management (MDM) is increasingly becoming a mature technology and successful implementations have been the subject of recent media attention.  There is, however, little concrete information reflecting real-world experience.  We were interested to better understand the current experience of those enterprises with live MDM programs or plans to deploy MDM, and the challenges that drive interest in MDM.  We also wanted to explore to what extent the available MDM technology is meeting the needs of organizations.  

We therefore conducted a survey, sponsored by SAP, which was aimed at understanding better the experience of businesses regarding their current MDM initiatives.  The survey was particularly focused on "Analytical MDM", which we define as the provision of authoritative master data for the purposes of enterprise-wide reporting and analysis.  "Operational MDM", by contrast, provides authoritative master data to operational applications such as ERP and CRM systems.  The main findings from the survey’s 218 participant answers are detailed in the full report.

The report has 30 pages.
$ 850.00
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What’s the Link Between Data Governance and Success with MDM?
What’s the Link Between Data Governance and Success with MDM?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - December 2011

It has often been said that data governance is key to master data management (MDM), but is it?  In this survey we wanted to get feedback from customers who have data governance activities and MDM projects, to see to what extent the two really are linked.  In particular, we wanted to identify best (and worst) practice in data governance and MDM.

In 2010, we reviewed these two key areas in detail in our Data Governance Benchmarking, Data Governance Survey Report, and Data Quality and MDM Survey Report.  Although many authors are highlighting the crucial importance of data governance initiatives when it comes to ensuring the success of MDM implementations, there is little hard information available on the approach being adopted by organizations that have implemented data governance and MDM.

We therefore conducted a survey, sponsored by Pitney Bowes Software, which was aimed at understanding better the views of businesses regarding their current data governance and MDM initiatives.

Some 110 respondents from across the world completed the survey, with 71% from North America (including Canada), 23% from Europe and the remainder (6%) from the rest of the world.  Almost two-thirds (66%) of the respondents were from larger organizations with annual revenues greater than US $1 billion.  

The report has 30 pages.
$ 850.00
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ROI for Data Management Projects
ROI for Data Management Projects
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - July 2011

Companies spend a lot of money on master data, data warehouse and data quality projects, but how successful are these initiatives in monetary terms?  There is to date little information available relating to the return on these, often substantial, investments.  In this survey, sponsored by Sand and Tibco, we explored how companies justify their expenditures, how they measure success, and how they assess their data management projects in monetary terms.

A total of 101 respondents from organizations across the world completed the survey.  One-third (31%) was from North America (including Canada), roughly half (52%) from Europe.  Over half (55%) of the respondents were from larger organizations having annual revenues greater than US $1 billion.  

The report has 33 pages.  
$ 850.00
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Data Quality and MDM - The Missing Link?
Data Quality and MDM - The Missing Link?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - April 2011

Currently, master data management (MDM) and data quality are treated as separate markets, yet any MDM project has a significant data quality component.  Many authors have highlighted in the media the crucial importance of data quality initiatives to ensuring the success of MDM implementations.  There is, however, little information on the approach being adopted by organizations that have implemented or plan to implement MDM.

It is important for organizations and vendors alike to understand the current state of data quality and master data management in organizations, as well as the degree to which these areas are becoming interdependent.  In particular, we explored the link between these important areas to discover how data quality is interleaved into a master data program.  We also wished to gain insight into software tools selected and the available experience to date.  We have therefore conducted a survey, sponsored by Informatica and Talend, aimed at understanding better the views of businesses regarding their current data quality and MDM initiatives.

Some 192 respondents from across the world completed the survey, which was conducted over the internet. 52% were from North America (including Canada), 36% from Europe and the remainder (12%) from the rest of the world.  Almost two-thirds (61%) of the respondents were from larger organizations having annual revenues greater than US $1 billion.  The results reflect a good mix of both large and smaller organizations worldwide.

The report has 37 pages.
$ 850.00
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How Reliable is your Data Warehouse?
How Reliable is your Data Warehouse?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - December 2010

Data warehousing has been with us for almost three decades now.  More than 25 vendors currently offer a wide range of approaches and software products dedicated to data warehousing.  These range from packaged applications to cloud-based solutions and data warehouse appliances.  We have recently reviewed this area in our Data Warehouse Landscape 2011.  

In the past, many data warehouse implementations gained the reputation of having a high failure rate, often delivering inconsistent data, with the consequence that businesses inevitably lost trust in their reliability.  A root cause of this lack of reliability was that little or no attention was paid to ensuring the quality of the data loaded into the warehouse.  Has the state of data warehousing in organizations improved over the past two decades?

At The Information Difference, we believe it is important for both organizations and vendors to understand the current state of data warehousing in organizations.  We have therefore conducted a survey, sponsored by IBM, aimed at gaining deeper insight into the views of businesses regarding their current data warehousing initiatives.

Some 100 respondents completed the survey from all around the world, the majority (48%) from North America and 35% from Europe.  A high proportion (57%) of the respondents were from companies having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion; 25% of the respondents were drawn from the banking and financial industries with the remainder covering a wide spectrum of industries.

The report has 32 pages.
$ 850.00
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Data Governance Benchmarking Survey 2010
Data Governance Benchmarking Survey 2010
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - November 2010

Data governance is gaining increasing importance and focus in the media, but how effective is it in practice?  How does your organization stack up against others?  The Information Difference, working together with The Data Governance Institute, has developed a framework for data governance that has been reviewed and vetted by an expert panel of multinational companies with well-established data governance activities. The framework includes the following key areas: Organization, Policies, Risk, Models, Controls, Measurement and Support. This report presents a detailed benchmarking survey into the various aspects of data governance across a wide range of organizations.  A customized version of this report can also be purchased [Click here for further details.]

The report was sponsored by Informatica and Teradata.  

The report has 56 pages.
$ 850.00
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How Data Governance Links MDM and Data Quality
How Data Governance Links MDM and Data Quality
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - August 2010

Many authors have recently highlighted in the media the crucial importance of data governance and data quality initiatives to ensure the success of MDM implementations.  There is, however, scant information on the approaches being adopted by organizations that have implemented or plan to implement MDM, or indeed those who have chosen not to implement data governance.                                                                                    

We were therefore interested to explore the linkage between data governance, master data and data quality.  In particular, to discover how organizations are tackling this area in practice.  Additionally, we wanted to understand the scale, scope and success rates of data governance in relation to MDM and data quality initiatives in business.

We have conducted a survey to examine the link between data governance, master data management and data quality.  A total of 257 respondents from across the world completed the survey.  56% came from North America and 26% from Europe.  Fully two thirds of the respondents were from larger organizations having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion (62%).  The respondents were drawn from a wide spectrum of industries including banking, finance and manufacturing.

A key finding from the survey is that 31% have already implemented data governance and have had active data governance implementations for a median of 2 years.  A further 40% plan to implement within one year.  Further, a significant number of organizations (39%) are electing to implement data governance alongside MDM (and data quality).

The report has 51 pages.
$ 850.00
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The Link Between Data Warehousing and MDM
The Link Between Data Warehousing and MDM
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - April 2010

"Analytic MDM" has become established as one of the styles of MDM implementation  adopted by businesses needing to effect a significant improvement in the speed and quality of their business reporting, often centered around one or more national, regional or enterprise data warehouses.  

This is unsurprising since the "dimensions" of a data warehouse are essentially master data (e.g., hierarchies of products, customers, locations, etc.).  Despite the close relationship between MDM and data warehousing, a glance at even the recent literature on these topics reveals that these two important areas tend to be treated as entirely separate.                                                                                             

 At The Information Difference we were interested in exploring the linkage between master data and data warehouses and to understand the scale, scope and success rates of MDM and data warehousing initiatives in business. We have therefore conducted a survey into the link between data warehousing and master data management.

208 respondents completed the survey from all around the world; the majority from North America (57%) and Europe (27%). Over half the respondents (53%) came from companies having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion. The respondents represented a wide spectrum of industries.

Amongst other things the study reveals that almost half of the organizations surveyed have one or more data warehouse and MDM implementations.


The report has 38 pages.
$ 850.00
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Master Data Management Projects in Practice
Master Data Management Projects in Practice
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - December 2009

Master Data Management (MDM) has received growing attention recently as an essential component of information management alongside data governance and data quality. Alongside this growth in interest in master data management, the provision of services for the implementation of master data management is featuring with increasing prominence in the portfolio of services offered by many Systems Integrators (SIs).

While many SIs currently claim or suggest they have extensive implementation expertise in master data management, there is little concrete information available regarding the use of systems integrators by end-user organizations for implementing master data management programs in business. We have therefore conducted a survey of both end-user organizations and systems integrators aimed at gaining deeper insight into the levels of expertise, experience and usage of systems integrators specifically related to undertaking MDM implementations.

Some 131 respondents completed the survey from all around the world, the majority from North America (47%) and Europe (30%). A high proportion (42%) of the respondents came from companies having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion. The respondents represented a wide spectrum of industries.

The study throws up some fascinating results, including showing the amount of effort that is needed to maintain MDM systems, how much effort you should budget for to deal with data quality issues, and what are the main lessons from current project practice.  The report also shows just how happy companies really are with the systems integrators they use for MDM projects.  


The report has 57 pages.
$ 850.00
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The State of Data Quality Today
The State of Data Quality Today
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - July 2009

The topic of business data quality has been with us for decades. Given the large number of vendors offerings dedicated to resolving data quality (DQ) issues, one might be forgiven for believing that the problems have all but been resolved. A glance through the current literature reveals, however, that the problem of poor data quality is still very much alive. Has the state of data quality in organizations improved over the past two decades? Or is data management, and data quality in particular, still in a ghastly state with organizations and senior management feeling that the problem is overwhelming? Despite the clear concerns from business and a plethora of software vendors, there is surprisingly little concrete information available regarding the state of data quality in business. In June 2009 we conducted a survey, sponsored by Pitney Bowes Business Insight and Silver Creek Systems, aimed at gaining deeper insight into the views of businesses regarding their current or planned data quality initiatives. Some 193 respondents completed the survey from all around the world, the majority from Europe (47%) and North America (44%). A high proportion (39%) of the respondents were from companies having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion; respondents represented a wide spectrum of industries. Some of the main findings from the survey are summarized below:
  • One third of respondents rate their data quality as poor at best and only 4% as excellent. Fully half considered their data quality as good, although this may be somewhat over-optimistic when set against other results from the survey. For example one respondent told us “Poor data quality and consistency has led to the orphaning of $32 million in stock just sitting in the warehouse that can’t be sold since it’s lost in the system.”
  • 63% have no idea what poor data quality may be costing them.
  • Surprisingly, 17% have no plans at all to start a data quality initiative, compared with 37% who currently have some form of data quality initiative in place. The remainder plan to introduce data quality in the next one to three year period.
  • Some two-thirds plan for, or currently have, data quality spanning either the entire enterprise or one or more lines of business.
  • A remarkable 81% say that their data quality is focused wider than just “name and address” yet this latter is the area in which most (>90%) vendors currently have their base!
  • The top three data areas for DQ were ranked as: 1) product data; 2) financial data; 3) name and address data. It is interesting that financial data occupies second place but virtually no current DQ vendors specialize in this area. Product data is rated as a higher priority than customer name and address, yet only a few data quality vendors specialise in dealing with product data quality.
  • The top two barriers to adopting data quality were: Management does not see this as an imperative and It’s very difficult to present a business case. This is interesting given that the majority (63%) have not attempted to calculate the cost of data errors.
The report has 33 pages.
$ 850.00
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Styles and Architectures for MDM
Styles and Architectures for MDM
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - March 2009

Master data management (MDM) has emerged as a key area of information management in the last few years.  Initially much of the architectural debate was about whether to be data domain-specific or not, with vendors focused on providing customer or product-specific hubs. In the past couple of years the industry has realised that organisations want a uniform approach to all their master data and vendors have started to address this requirement. There is, however, still a significant divide about the style of implementation, with some vendors specialising in certain areas, and some confusion has arisen around terms such as "operational MDM", "registry" and "analytic MDM" used for various approaches to implementing MDM. Implementation approaches focus either on managing master data associated with business intelligence and reporting (termed analytic MDM) or managing master data associated with transactional systems (termed operational MDM). There has also been discussion of the use of federated approaches for MDM. 

At The Information Difference we believe it is important for both organizations and vendors to understand how MDM is generally being implemented, so as to gain insight into the underlying reasons for the approaches selected and the available experience to date. We have therefore conducted a survey aimed at gaining deeper insight into the views and plans of businesses regarding their current or planned MDM initiatives, focused on the styles and architectures adopted or planned to be implemented.


Read more...
$ 850.00
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Impact of the Financial Crisis on MDM and Data Quality Initiatives
Impact of the Financial Crisis on MDM and Data Quality Initiatives
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - Autumn 2008


The recent financial crisis has had widespread impact on both individuals and businesses. It is against this background that a number of comments have appeared in the media urging businesses not to be distracted from their current IT plans but to focus even more on the areas that will bring growth.  It seems entirely likely that consulting firms will be faced with delayed or cancelled projects and many software vendors will experience a slowdown in orders. But will most businesses realize that Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Quality (DQ) initiatives hold the key to delivering improved business information and therefore that it makes sense to pursue these initiatives even against the current economic background?  In other words, are MDM and DQ immune from the crisis?

There is little hard information concerning the response of businesses to the impact of the financial crisis in this area. At The Information Difference we have conducted a survey, sponsored by Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, aimed at gaining greater insight into the views and plans of businesses regarding their current or planned MDM and DQ initiatives.  

The objective of the survey was to explore the views of businesses on the impact of the financial crisis and "credit crunch" on their current and future plans for implementation of MDM and DQ.

92 respondents completed the survey from all around the world, the majority from North America (57%) and Europe (31%). Most of the respondents were from companies having annual revenues greater than US $ 1 billion and represented a wide spectrum of industries.

The key findings from the survey are summarized below.
  • 58% of those surveyed have implemented DQ, MDM or both (32%).
  • Of the remaining 40%, 23% have no plans to implement DQ or MDM in the foreseeable future, 42% plan to implement DQ and MDM in 1-3 years, 11% plan to implement DQ in 1-3 years and 10% plan to implement MDM in 1-3 years.
  • Of those who currently have implementations, an impressive 40% plan to accelerate the implementation, but 37% are undecided as to the best course of action.
  • Overall, of those surveyed, 31% reported that they were uncertain as to how to move forward.
  • Some 9% reported that they planned to delay implementation for a year.
  • On a positive note, only 8% proposed to put their implementations and plans on hold.
  • 50% of those surveyed agreed that in the light of the financial crisis implementation of DQ and MDM should be given higher priority.
These results taken together support the view that we are unlikely to see a major retrenchment in the implementation of DQ and MDM in the business community. We believe this is positive news for both vendors and end users/enterprises alike. The report has 16 pages.
$ 850.00
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Adoption of Data Governance by Business?
Adoption of Data Governance by Business?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - Summer 2008

The mounting pressure on businesses to increase fiscal data compliance, accountability and transparency has compelled businesses to realize and accept that ERP systems and data warehouses alone are insufficient to really tackle the problem of inconsistent, inaccurate and unreliable data. In particular, there is a growing awareness that the processes that create and update corporate data need to be addressed if the data dragon is ever to be slain. This involves understanding, documenting and controlling the business rules that surround the creation of new business classifications (such as a new customer code, a new product line or brand, an updated hierarchy of engineering assets or organizational structure). This is commonly termed "data governance".  

Data governance is the process of establishing and maintaining cooperation between lines of business and management to establish standards for how common business data and metrics will be defined, propagated, owned and enforced throughout the organization. It is closely related to master data management (MDM), which is the management of data that is shared between computer systems, such as customer, product, asset, location or contract.

Although a growing number of organizations have put a tentative toe into the waters of master data management and data governance, there is scant concrete information relating to business motivation, level of maturity and adoption of data governance by business.

Against this background The Information Difference conducted a survey in August-September 2008 into the take-up, adoption and present level of maturity of data governance in business. 233 participants took part in the survey, 60% from companies with over USD $1 billion in revenue. 20% of respondents hold the job title of "Chief Architect" and 16% are CxOs or VPs. 64% were from North America, 20% from Europe and the rest elsewhere. 38% were drawn from the business and the remainder from IT.

The report has 46 pages.
$ 850.00
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Growing Adoption of Master Data Management by Business?
Growing Adoption of Master Data Management by Business?
A New Research Report from The Information Difference - Spring 2008

Master Data is data that is shared between computer systems, such as customer, product, asset, location or contract.  The management of this data is known as master data management (MDM). The mounting pressure on businesses to increase fiscal data compliance, accountability and transparency has driven a growing number of organizations to put a tentative toe into the waters of MDM. This has in part been fuelled by the explosion of publications in this area aimed at convincing businesses that the route to consistent business information lies in effective management of their master data. There is, however, scant concrete information relating to the motivation and adoption of MDM by business.

Against this background, The Information Difference has conducted a survey in April 2008 into the take-up and adoption of master data management (MDM) software. Data was collected for the survey from 112 participants with 65% representing businesses with revenues in excess of USD 1 billion. Some 56% were from North America and 24% from Europe. The purpose of the study was to gain understanding of amongst other factors the level of take up, the business motivation and the preferred approach to implementation.

The report has 20 pages.
$ 850.00
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