How to Choose Between Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Master Data Management Solutions (MDM) for a 360 View

Businesses are always trying to strike the optimal balance between their customer data and the governance needed to obtain a single customer view. The Gartner report focuses on comparing Customer Data Platform (CDP) and a Master Data Management Solution (MDM) on various facets as

  • Supporting your marketing-centric use cases
  • Using superior data integration capabilities
  • Customer 360 insights
  • Expected business benefits

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CDP vs MDM to Obtain a Customer 360 View

For years, building a truly comprehensive Customer 360 view of a brand’s data has remained elusive for marketing teams. While much of the data to inform customer data analytics and to optimize customer experience (CX) is being collected or stored by enterprises today, there remain some inherent challenges to inform a larger CX strategy.

For the most part, these brands face issues of wrangling data from numerous systems and channels – that often takes enormous investments in infrastructure, and technical expertise.

More so, the right tools and solutions to accelerate CX development still need to be put into place.


What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

The CDP Institute defines a Customer Data Platform as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”

As a new entrant in the market, CDP applications collect disparate data about customers from various customer touchpoints and tie this behavioral data together to enable sales and marketing campaigns.

These platforms use marketing-centric use cases and have less governance functionalities than more mature MDM solutions. Also, they tend to focus on delivering a complete view through the consolidation of data generated by digital customer interactions.


Gartner, Choose Between Customer Data Platforms and MDM Solutions for 360-Degree Customer Insights, Malcolm Hawker, Simon Walker, Sally Parker, 30 January 2020*

What is a Master Data Management Solution (MDM)?

Master data management applications consist of a single, governed source of customer data and are a foundational requirement for digital and experience transformation. By creating a single source of truth for enterprise applications and reporting and analytics, businesses can find a true and operational 360-degree view of the customer.

Compared to CDP, MDM solutions use superior data integration and governance capabilities to create C360 insights using customer data from a wider variety of internal systems.



*This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Riversand.

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