In which Jill considers MDM and takes the road less traveled.

Avoiding air travel to industry conferences is a rare treat, but I was able drive to and from last week’s Gartner MDM Summit in L.A. After the conference adjourned on Thursday I was thinking about the variety of sometimes contradictory, mostly interesting, and occasionally confusing messages.

My head was spinning on my drive home. Where were the examples of mature MDM programs? Really, relationships between subject areas are events, not reference data—so why the big deal about multi-domain? Lots of Big Data discussion—and some interesting workflow possibilities with MDM.  Why are so few companies getting data governance right? Really, everything depends on the problem you’re solving. Jeezus, there’s no template…  

And so it was that I missed the on-ramp to the 110 Freeway and found myself in East Los Angeles. I was only a mile and half from the conference but as I drove, it felt a lot farther.

At a red light near Rampart Village I watched a father and his three children buy fruit from a cart—the west coast version of the hot dog stand. Abuelitas haggled at the outdoor markets, revising their ingredients for soup. Driving west, I saw the sainted gaze of Cesar Chavez on the wall of a machine shop. A homeless woman on the corner of Alvarado fished a cigarette butt from a storm drain. In Thai Town old men lingered in the doorways of their cafes, redolent of coconut and lemongrass. Turning on Melrose the smell changed to incense as a tattooed teenager waved a sign that read “God is here now.”

I entered the 101 freeway at Highland and sped past the Hollywood Bowl, where my friends and I watch fireworks from a box seat every summer while eating fried chicken  and drinking Vouvray. The sun pierced the requisite haze near Universal City and I alighted into the Valley thinking, Jeezus, there really is no template.

Photo by prayitno via Flickr Creative Commons License