Ataccama Reference Data Manager Review

We evaluated Microsoft master data services – it's nice but far from Ataccama RDM especially in workflow features


Valuable Features

  • Web interface
  • Flexible workflow – different user roles, different actions (approval, additional fill-in, rejection, notifications)
  • Four-eyes principle
  • Data quality features (checks) are included (check value itself, vertically (other values in same column), horizontally (dependency with another value from another column) and with values from other tables), advanced data quality engine can be used
  • Very good activity logging and data historization
  • Time-machine feature
  • SOA architecture
  • Most popular database and web application servers are supported

Improvements to My Organization

We use this system for managing reference data. It’s the most useful system for data warehouse because all data sources have to come from relational database. Unfortunately before Ataccama RDM was installed, some reference code books came from EXCEL, which is definitely an error-prone data source that does not have proper dataflow and quality checks when inputting data.

We are using this system also for managing hard-coded logic in ETLs by creating special reference tables and creating workflows to update it in a manageable way.

We will use it for managing code book which is currently booked in some systems but doesn’t have sexy features as in Ataccama RDM.

This system can simplify data transfer between systems, eliminate extra copies and is different from a time perspective.

Room for Improvement

Creation process of services for on-line validation data (special services which are able to be used by another system) is too complicated.

Use of Solution

1 year

Deployment Issues

Yes, but all of them were covered by consultants

Stability Issues

Last hotfix which we received had some trouble, we are waiting for an update.

Scalability Issues

No and don’t expect because the area of using this system is special and is not scalable.

Codebooks are not too big. Please don’t mix reference data management with master data management – theses areas are quite relative but scale is completely different.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5Technical Support: On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5 On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5

Previous Solutions

We tried to use some other internal systems for codebooks input and storage but they were not special systems for that and therefore not so useful. Excel, the most popular one for that, can’t be considered in a big company as a tool for important reverence codebooks which need to be controlled and used in other industrial systems as core-systems or data warehouse and in the process of filling new data several people are involved.

Initial Setup

Setup was not complex. There is some complexity which can be from the methodology and business process point of view, because all dictionaries (code books) have to have business owners who are responsible for further support, fulfillment and well know particular business domain. But as often happens as soon as you try to put in an order processes, there are a lot of hidden stones or painful problems discovered with communication between different users which involved in workflow. So, this is a problem with the company's organization, not with the system itself.

Implementation Team

Consultants have helped us with implementation (no previous experience was with the system in the company), further development – in-house.

Consultant expertise is perfect.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It’s not Master data management system so the initial costs are relatively low. Day-to-day is also low.

Other Solutions Considered

Yes we evaluate Microsoft master data services (SQL 2012 edition) – nice one but far from Ataccama RDM especially in workflow features.

Oracle DRM – too expensive and didn’t look attractive.

There are many Master Data Management tools from (IBM, SAP etc) which obviously are able to solve the same problems as we have with reference data but these tools are very expensive and to use it for such small reference tables is like “to carry over 1 kilo of sand by tip track”

Customer Service:

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), I would give it a 5

Other Advice

Really best product for this certain task area – to make reference data is manageable. I am sure that if we had such tool in the past we could of saved money and had fewer headaches with an ineffective multiple time integration of the same amount of data and problems with further management of the data. So future of data governance (at least concerned reference data) looks pretty good in our company.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 Comment
GaryMReal UserTOP 5POPULAR

I suspect that MDS 2012 version is likely very much behind competitors, albeit one must remember that MDS is basically free and competitor products are typically very expensive. It works for our current needs which are simplistic. I've used Oracle DRM - wise choice as its an absolutely terrible tool even if it was free (its very expensive). And risky - Oracle has a history of purchasing products (this one came from Hyperion) and then dropping them a few years later.

MDS 2016 is greatly enhanced so I wonder if you were to do the evaluation again in a year how it would compare to Ataccama.

25 December 15
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