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Andy Hayler

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Andy Hayler is one of the world’s foremost experts on master data management. Andy started his career with Esso as a database administrator and, among other things, invented a “decompiler” for ADF, enabling a dramatic improvement in support efforts in this area.  He became the youngest ever IT manager for Esso Exploration before moving to Shell. As Technology Planning Manager of Shell UK he conducted strategy studies that resulted in significant savings for the company.  Andy then became Principal Technology Consultant for Shell international, engaging in significant software evaluation and procurement projects at the enterprise level.  He then set up a global information management consultancy business which he grew from scratch to 300 staff. Andy was architect of a global master data and data warehouse project for Shell downstream which attained USD 140M of annual business benefits. 

Andy founded Kalido, which under his leadership was the fastest growing business intelligence vendor in the world in 2001.  Andy was the only European named in Red Herring’s “Top 10 Innovators of 2002”.  Kalido was a pioneer in modern data warehousing and master data management.

He is now founder and CEO of The Information Difference, a boutique analyst and market research firm, advising corporations, venture capital firms and software companies.   He is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences on master data management, data governance and data quality. He is also a respected restaurant critic and author (  Andy has an award-winning blog  He can be contacted at


October 2010 Archives

It is clear to anyone that has worked in a global organization that there are distinct differences in the approach to technology in different countries. Of course generalizations are dangerous, but usually US companies are early adopters and happy to take risks on relatively unproven technology if it delivers real benefit. The UK and Scandinavia usually follow the US (except in mobile technology, where the US tends to be a laggard). After that, other European companies adopt at varying pace: the Dutch are usually fairly early adopters, the French less so, while the Germans and the Swiss like to see everything proven before taking a chance on something new. Asia is a complex set of individual markets, with some areas that are leading e.g. South Korea in broadband, while in other cases they may lag Europe in the adoption curve. On a recent visit to Japan I saw both ends of the spectrum, with very advanced GPS and mapping systems yet some fairly archaic back-office technology.

I am curious as to whether MDM will merely follow the contours of this conventional technology adoption pattern, or whether it will be different, which it may be since a key difference is that MDM requires more significant business engagement than many technologies. For example I was speaking at a conference in Sweden last week and was a little surprised at how new MDM appeared to be in a country that is generally an early adopter of technology. I am curious as to whether MDM practitioners have noticed any cultural differences in the way that MDM is being tackled? If so please post a comment of your views on this blog.

Posted October 18, 2010 10:52 AM
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