Many organizations are busy implementing Master Data Management (MDM) solutions on top of all of their applications. Master Data Management unifies the concept of a Customer of a business or a Patient in a Healthcare System. MDM solutions unifies the data about a single Customer or a single Patient in one place. This picks up all the data regarding a patient from many databases that a healthcare system like a hospital may have, and makes it available when needed. Many compliance regulations like HIPAA may need the hospital to make this available when needed. Companies may use MDM solutions to gather up ALL the information about a single customer in one single place for doing marketing, cross-selling, up-selling, etc.
Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) is used to stitch many disparate heterogeneous databases together to make this happen. The information about a patient in a hospital may be in Patient Records or the Pharmacy transactions database. Making them all available in one single place involves accessing many different applications and databases and SOA enables them.
Master Data Management could be so very useful in the context of Business Process Management also, End-to-end business processes involve many different applications and databases. Managing, measuring, analyzing and improving business processes involves pretty much the same kind of problem. MDM soolutions that help you keep track of a Customer or a Patient could just as easily keep track of an end-to-end business process like Order to Cash, tracking the order through the company and various departments and functions! Very intriguing idea!
Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. – Charles Babbage