In early March 2015, SAS made SAS® Master Data Management (MDM) 4.2 available to the general public. There are great new features in SAS MDM 4.2 that enhance data stewardship capabilities, extend data model options, and improve overall usability of the main SAS MDM components. Here’s a quick look at the major new features.
SAS Visual Analytics (minus the Explorer component) is now part of the SAS MDM Advanced bundle. Its inclusion provides a set of standard reports and the ability for customers to design their own MDM and data governance reports. Users can share MDM and custom reports with business users through SAS Visual Analytics functionality. Here’s the list of standard reports now included with SAS MDM:
Source system management in SAS MDM has been greatly expanded. One area of improvement is the way that source systems themselves are defined, which allows them to be used in new ways. For example, it’s now possible to build source system-specific MDM tools that can push data to and pull data from SAS MDM through actions in the SAS MDM web application – rather than having to do the same in the separate Data Management Studio desktop client.
Source system harmonization is a unique new feature that lets SAS MDM push master data values back to contributing systems depending on changing data in the MDM database. For example, if a new record from a system joins a cluster and that changes its best record composition, then that changed best record can be pushed back to one of these:
This process is facilitated by the creation of SAS MDM harmonization jobs on the Data Management Server into which integration processes can be placed.
Also new is a data load summary view that shows how data enters the MDM environment. This view makes it easy for data stewards to see what systems are sending data to SAS MDM. It’s categorized by entity type, source system, and user. Each load event is stamped with a date and time and the total number of records loaded is displayed. MDM tools are also available for each source system represented in the summary view. MDM database integrity is safeguarded by permissions set for each tool that prevent users from loading arbitrary data to unapproved source systems or entity types.
Attributes can be added to relationship types—the method for defining relationship attributes is similar to how entity attributes are defined. For example, you might choose to add “Start Date” to an “Employed by” relationship type between an employee and an employer. Once defined, relationship type value can be edited in the entity editor area or in the relationship diagram area. They can also be added programmatically as part of MDM load and update processes.
Late last year, new versions of SAS Business Data Network and SAS Lineage were released. Both of the components are included with SAS MDM Advanced bundle. SAS Business Data Network now has integrated workflow capabilities and support for customizable term types. SAS Lineage is all new and delivers relationship, impact analysis, and governance diagrams that provide a view of all your interconnected SAS metadata assets. This helps you understand the downstream impact of changes to master data entity definitions or source systems on associated data management jobs, files, reports, and so on.
I’ve only covered the major enhancements so far, but there are a host of other minor new features that enhance the overall usability of SAS MDM and improve integration of various SAS MDM components. Here are just a few of these additions:
Want to learn more? Check out the SAS Master Data Management area on the SAS support website for additional details about SAS MDM and related data management technologies.