The difference (or similarities?) of PIM and MDM

Within the domain of Master Data there is a mixed-use of the terminology. Both PIM and MDM are acronyms that are used a lot in this context of Master Data. In theory there is a difference between the two. We’ll try to explain it in hereunder.

Similarity of acronyms

What is important to remember is that in the end both acronyms are about the management of data. Both refer to the process of importing the data from different sources, enriching the data in different ways so it can be published and syndicated to different channels.  

Difference of acronyms 

Now that we have an understanding of similarity of both definitions, let’s have a look at the difference. That can be easily done by looking at the acronyms itself: 

  • PIM Product Information Management 
  • MDM Master Data Management 

That teaches us that PIM is all about the management of Product Information. So, when using the terminology PIM, we refer to Products and product related information. It is about managing the information of your Products. That is importing data from different sources so it can be enriched centrally and published to the different channels that need to receive this single source of truth of your Products. When using the terminology PIM, you set a focus on your product information.  


Master Data Management is the collection of ALL master data that is relevant for an organization. This could include supplier information, store information (location, layout, opening hours, …), customer information, employee data, assets but as well products. For these different data objects (supplier, customer, stores, employee, product, …) within the practice of Master Data Management you are also looking in combining the different relevant data sources import. So that you can centrally manage these different data objects in an efficient way and publish the right kind of information throughout the different channels that need to benefit from this centrally managed information. When using the terminology MDM, you set a focus on more data objects than product only. 


You could state both acronyms have more in common than there are differences. To conclude we could state that Product Information Management is a subset of Master Data Management. Both are about the import of master data, the enrichment of data and the syndication of data where PIM specifically emphasizes product information. 

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