Performance Management and BI

Q&A with the Experts: Hyperion

A business intelligence or data warehouse implementation can be a formidable undertaking. On this page, leading business intelligence and data warehousing solution provider Hyperion share their answers to the questions they hear often from industry professionals. Mark Hammond, an independent consultant, provides his analyst viewpoint to each Q&A.

Hyperion Solutions Corporation

What are the key points to consider for an MDM initiative related to performance management and BI?

MDM projects vary widely, but it’s key to start small and plan for growth from the beginning. First, identify one or two types of master data (dimensions) and hierarchies to tackle. You can start by defining and agreeing on a master data lifecycle, definitions, and attributes, and by determining the system of record and system of entry for changes.
Next, identify one or two systems that will interact with the MDM application initially. This means defining the integration method(s) and establishing the required frequency of updates to each system.
Finally, ensure business user involvement in the maintenance of master data. This includes securing management sponsorship and participation, establishing policies and business rules for managing changes, and defining change approval levels, internal controls, and reporting.

Analyst Viewpoint

A good rule of thumb when strategizing on an MDM initiative for BI and performance management is to start small but think big. Driven by tactical needs, some organizations apply MDM in isolated areas without a vision for enterprisewide MDM—inviting silo problems and focusing more on reactive MDM rather than proactive MDM. Given differing interpretations of MDM, it’s important to invest time up front in defining what MDM means for the business. Organizations should clearly distinguish between analytic and operational MDM, baseline problems to be addressed, and outline the expected benefits of MDM both immediately and in longer-range pursuit of MDM’s promise of a single view of the business.

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