The Classic MDM Use Case

Data harmonization is the classic use case for MDM and refers to the process of combining multiple data sources into an integrated, unambiguous entity “golden copy” record that can be used by consuming systems to feed a business process.

360-degree view of customer is one example where the goal is to create a customer record with the combined attributes that support the marketing view, the sales view, the finance view and the executive view. This view will be unique for each one, as opposed to the concept of a “single view” which is forces the same information on every user and consuming system regardless of whether it is relevant.

Data harmonization begins with matching new source records to an existing master record. Unmatched records can be “promoted” to establish a new master record.  Sometimes the biggest challenge is establishing that initial set of master records from a collection of duplicates within the same source. After matching to a master record, harmonization involves applying a set of business rules to establish master record attributes by resolving any conflicting or overlapping values from supporting source systems. For each surviving master record attribute, providing lineage to the supporting source information is absolutely critical.

A lack of harmonized data around customer, location, account, etc. is one of the main drivers for an MDM program. Effective MDM implementations must have the ability to integrate new sources quickly and effectively within a robust architecture that can manage model and data change through automation.

Magnitude MDM - HArmonization definitions

Key Data Harmonization Capabilities & Benefits

Here is a list of features in Magnitude MDM that are not only essential to the harmonization use-case but also play a significant role in other operational master data management use cases.

Sophisticated Multi-Domain Modeling

Magnitude MDM business information models easily support any combination of complex structures across multiple domains – customer/party, product/thing, financial data, location data, etc. Magnitude MDM’s visual modeling capability coupled with a top-down, business-centric approach enables both IT and the business to collaborate in building sensible and effective master data processes. Reuse makes for a quick, efficient and cost-effective path to adding new domains, data sources, objects, attributes, and associations.

Managing Identifiers

Magnitude business information models can manage multiple identifiers for each subject. An identifier can be either primary or alternate, optional or mandatory. Model-driven validation quickly flags any duplicates based any of the available keys. Then, similar to any other business rule validation errors in Magnitude MDM, these duplicates are not rejected as part of the load but rather moved into a working context for subsequent mediation and resolution.


Magnitude business information models design and build the physical layer through the MDM engine and deliver the right amount of automation, governance, and control over the database objects and corresponding load processes. With a combination of a well-designed and robust business model, component reuse and model-driven automation, adding a new source system can be quick and efficient, rapidly delivering business value.

Robust Matching

Internal and external data sources can vary significantly in terms of grain, unique identifiers, and overall quality. Using a combination of direct and fuzzy matching rules, data stewards can quickly configure, test and deploy matching rules. Matching scores determine whether source records are automatically associated to a target, rejected or sent to an inbox for manual review.


A robust, customizable MDM workflow provides just the right amount of control over the business process of harmonization. Complete audit history captures what changes were made by whom and at what time. Model-based security controls which users can view, add or update categories or subjects. In addition, data subjects are managed in either working or published context to provide absolute control over which data can be made publicly available.

Time Variance

Any changes to models, subjects, attributes, and associations are captured across time. With this functionality, you can quickly retrieve any subject based on current state or how it existed at any point in time, providing an audit trail for compliance requirements.

Harmonization helps the business leverage disparate bits of information to provide greater perspective on master data subjects such as customer, account, location, etc. Harmonization coupled with an effective business model also provides the supporting context for all related records to broaden that perspective even more.

Other common uses of the Magnitude MDM solution include:

  • Reference Data Management – integrate and harmonize external and internal reference data – such as industry codes, entity identifiers, country codes, units of measure and conversion rates – used to categorize information across systems.
  • Hierarchy Management – visually manage and browse multiple different views of data for different uses across systems, easily handling re-organizations.
  • Central Master Data Authoring – create a centralized master data authoring system to create new records, apply custom business rules and then publish to consuming operational systems.
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