IBM Master Data Management notches a Gold in the 2021 New York Design Awards

We live in a world where data is the key driver of business insights, solutions, and results, yet many companies struggle to manage the amount of data information they are gathering. IBM Master Data Management tackles this problem head on, providing customers with a clean and consistent view of their data to better understand and trust the information they’ve gathered.

I’m so excited to announce recent recognition the design team has received as a result. IBM Master Data Management (MDM) was awarded a Gold in the Digital — New Service or Application category from this year’s New York Design Awards.

The New York Design Awards is run by the DrivenxDesign Award Programs, the world’s largest network of Design Award Programs. With a global community of over 95,000 members the competition is elite, recognizing only the best designs which demonstrate their leadership in technology and innovation. The awards are judged by a jury of industry experts sourced fromthe Design Exec Club members who look for applications which have shown courage by pushing the boundaries of design and work to solve human needs.

Master Data Management leverages insights from user research to improve the customer experience

IBM MDM has an established reputation built on providing businesses with the necessary infrastructure to help deal with data clutter to extract value. But the market has evolved. Now, to remain competitive, companies require faster setup, onboarding, and time-to-value. They need a modern solution developed to make them more self-sufficient while maintaining the same level of expertise and the foundation of trust and reliability they’ve come to expect over the years.

Clients are at the heart of all IBM design efforts. The IBM MDM design team utilized IBM Enterprise Design Thinking to garner deeper insights from their users while trying to better understand the changing data landscape. They were able to to receive and integrate usability feedback from nearly 100 registrants in their UX Beta Testing Program and leverage these insights to create a final design concept, which was wholly user-driven.

Customer research demonstrated the need to re-imagine the IBM MDM experience from the ground up, with a special focus on the initial setup and configuration. The design team integrated machine learning technology to accelerate the time requirement for customers from months to weeks. In the new IBM MDM user experience, the user no longer needs a highly-trained technical professional to manually code the data model on their behalf. When the user connects data sources, IBM MDM uses embedded IBM Watson AI technology to analyze the data, display a custom and interactive data model, and automatically map their source targets.

IBM Master Data Management uses IBM Watson powered AI technology to streamline the data mapping process and provide clear metrics for a more transparent experience.

A data mapping confidence score explains why AI decisions were made and allows the user to override automation choices if the confidence score is too low. The team’s extensive user research informed this design decision to increase transparency for the user. Designing according to IBM’s Ethical AI and Accessibility standards, the new IBM MDM layout builds trust in the automation process and gives the user ultimate control over their mapping outcomes.

Allowing users to evaluate their results after matching and mastering their data is designed to be an equally straightforward and intuitive process. By visualizing key metrics and entity statistics, it’s easy for users to assess the quality of their algorithm performance at a glance, and to adjust the settings as needed. The design team recognized that no two customers are exactly the same. They built the results page with flexibility in mind, ensuring that as different user’s needs evolve, the results page will continue to grow to accommodate them, testing for usability and value every step of the way.

The resulting solution created by IBM MDM’s design team empowers a single, non-specialist data engineer to set up a data management system within a matter of weeks, all without writing a single line of code. I’m very proud of our design team for their continued dedication to the design process. Their commitment to the user journey, and willingness to iterate, has created an exceptional user experience and I’m thrilled they are receiving recognition for all their hard work.

Winning Design Team

Amanda Pasquali, Dominick Washburn, John Bailey, Jose Banuelos, Michael Adams, Michael Yee, Phil Brucker, Rachna Tiwary, Tobias Albrecht

Arin Bhowmick (@arinbhowmick) is Vice President and Chief Design Officer, IBM Products, based in San Francisco, California. The above article is personal and does not necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions



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Arin Bhowmick

Arin Bhowmick

Chief Design Officer, @SAP | ex CDO @IBM |Cloud, AI and Apps I UX Leadership| UX Strategy| Usability & User Research| Product Design