A Case for Cross-Domain Business Intelligence

By Kerry Young on Jun 13, 2019

A Master Data Management (MDM) central repository can be utilized for a wide range of applications, from marketing and sales to product lifecycle management, etc. Yet there is an area that is sometimes overlooked – business intelligence (BI).

There’s a strong case to be made for utilizing MDM to drive BI decisions across an enterprise. The problem is, not just any type of MDM software will do. It requires a Multi-domain approach.

The Challenge: Siloed Domains

Initially, MDM solutions focused on a single domain, namely the customer or a product, in an approach that didn’t account for the fact that data flows in from a variety of sources that are critically related.

Managing siloed data is difficult and ineffective. Beyond issues with accuracy, it gives a disjointed view of the business – filled with gaps and inconsistencies. Even for systems where data is well-managed, if it’s separated from other data domains, you won’t get a holistic view. You’ll be making decisions with reliable data, but you’ll be blindfolded while doing it.

Enter Multi-Domain MDM.

A Multi-Domain strategy enables a holistic approach to mastering data with unified governance, modeling, mapping, and management of all data domains. By connecting the dots between multiple domains, organizations can gain intelligence around the relationships between products, customers, suppliers, locations, and more. Aberdeen notes that 69 percent of companies with a multi-domain approach to MDM saw an improvement in their decision accuracy.

(Download our eBook to learn more about implementing Multi-domain MDM)

The Advantages of Multi-domain MDM

According to Gartner, “Multi-domain and multi-vector MDM enable digital business to advance from ‘collecting’ data for a single data domain to ‘connecting’ several data domains.”

It’s this act of ‘connecting’ data that enables organizations to easily link objects from domains to create dynamic virtual relationships.

There are also other advantages to consider. By implementing a system that unifies data across all domains, organizations can benefit from:

  • Unified Governance and Data Quality: Multi-domain MDM provides consistency in formatting, making it easier to compare information across areas.
  • Lower Cost: It generally costs more to manage separate domains than it does to handle one unified system.
  • Time-savings and agility: Data from one domain neatly corresponds with information pulled from the others, making changes and trends easier to detect, improving causation analysis, and better informing high-level decisions.
  • Increased Transparency: Both from a regulatory compliance standpoint as well in terms of operationalizing data, the transparency offered through Multi-domain MDM allows you to see relationships and trends across all domains. It also enhances compliance in that your data is easier to track, being readily viewable from a centralized location.

What Domains Could You Benefit From?

Multi-Domain MDM, single-data domains like Product or Customer can be combined with other domains for the data to be merged, cleansed, and enriched.

Data domains to consider include:

  • Product
  • Customer (B2B or B2C)
  • Supplier/Vendor
  • Location
  • Reference
  • Asset
  • Partner
  • Menu Data
  • Schedule Data
  • Legal Claims
  • Artist
  • Order Data
  • And more

Let’s look at an example of Multi-domain in action:

Meet our fashion retailer. They sell a variety of jewelry online and in stores around the world, including items that can be personalized onsite. Obviously, they will need to manage Product data, as well as Supplier data for the distributors that provide their inventory. That’s a great place to start.

But they can do so much more. They decide to implement a Customer domain to help them track customer activity per location, and crucially, as they expand their e-commerce site.

They see customer satisfaction increasing; but, operationally, they are still losing money. Since they have Multi-domain MDM, they decide to expand to include a Location domain. This will help them manage which products are sold per location, in each geographic area, to optimize shipments, translations, marketing, and more. They can also add an Asset domain to manage their personalization equipment for maintenance and parts. Only some of their stores offer personalization, so this will also help them avoid shipping engravable jewelry to sites without the right machines.

The biggest bang? Combining all domains under one platform gives them powerful insights that drive better business decisions and growth strategies – all based on a single source of truth.

Sound good?

As you can see, there’s a strong case for cross-domain intelligence with Multi-domain MDM. Talk with us about implementing a Multi-domain MDM approach at your business.


Toomey, Matt. Multi-domain MDM Tackles Modern Data Management Challenges, Aberdeen Essentials, January 27, 2017.

James, Simon Walker, and Michael Patrick Moran. Three Top Trends in Master Data Management Solutions Through 2017, Gartner Research, February 20, 2017.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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