Beyond Master Data Management – Lessons from the Past 20 Years

by Jan 8, 2020

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of Delos Technology[i], the company Jean Paquet and I founded to introduce the first Enterprise Master Data Management software platform. In the past two decades, we have seen MDM become an accepted component of enterprise information architecture and a fragmentation of the MDM vision.

Let’s face it. Nobody implements MDM without a specific outcome justifying the (sometimes considerable) investment. The challenge for anyone building a business case for MDM is that despite the value of MDM functionality, these capabilities are invariably justified in the context of support for a bigger initiative. Naturally, the MDM solution is selected and configured for this justification, which typically becomes a limiting factor when trying to leverage the MDM investment in other areas of the business.

There is a maturity curve for MDM implementations that starts with basic data quality and matching, moving to system interoperability and enterprise data governance at maturity. At Gaine, many of our projects involve the replacement of existing MDM products because these products are unable to support the more sophisticated demands of enterprise interoperability.

We can define interoperability as the ability of systems to access, exchange, integrate, and cooperatively use data in a coordinated manner, within and between organizations. While basic MDM capabilities such as cleansing, matching, and merging are important, an interoperability solution must also:


  • Integrate transactional data
  • Manage the harmonization of data between systems based on business rules
  • Provide service calls for complex workflows
  • Support synchronous and asynchronous data flows concurrently





In our view, the MDM market is crying out for formal segmentation that will make it easier for architects to select and acquire the appropriate solutions for their organizations. Further, we believe that industry specialization is critical to delivering scalability, reducing time-to-value, and maximum return on investment.

Gaine is leading the charge of moving “Beyond MDM” into delivering true interoperability platforms for specific markets. You can learn more at

[i] Delos merged with Siperian in 2003 and was eventually acquired by Informatica in 2010.


Martin Dunn


Martin Dunn was the co-founder of Delos Technology which developed the MDM technology marketed under the Siperian brand. The Delos MDM technology introduced many MDM concepts that are now widespread within the MDM discipline including a data steward console to adjudicate match results, opt-in synchronization, cell level delta detection and the concept of measuring trust.

Martin is now a partner with Gaine Solutions and continues to advance the techniques by which enterprise Master Data is managed.