Master Data Management (MDM) is in the spotlight. Yet the term is often misinterpreted. What does MDM mean and what should an MDM solution look like? In this second blog about Master Data Management, we list the myths and facts.

Myth 1: MDM is about implementing technology.

Fact: Of course technology plays an important role, but it is of secondary importance in MDM. Ultimately, it is mainly about optimizing business processes. MDM is a facilitator in this process.

Myth 2: MDM is an IT affair.

Fact: MDM is an organization-wide issue. IT must support the MDM initiative, but ultimately it must be carried by management. Without a basis for funding, MDM is obviously doomed to fail.

Myth 3: Metadata is the key to MDM.

Fact: Some parties look at MDM purely from a technical perspective. However, it is especially important to approach MDM organization-wide.

Myth 4: MDM is a project.

Fact: MDM is not a traditional project, but much more of a program. It changes the way data is created and managed, and this requires an approach at both the micro and macro levels. MDM creates new roles and responsibilities in the organization. Management involvement is also very important for this reason.

Myth 5: MDM is too bulky.

Fact: MDM is best approached in phases by domain. By introducing it step by step, timely adjustments can be made if necessary. This also keeps the financial risks down.

Myth 6: MDM is only suitable for large, complex enterprises.

Fact: Even in smaller organizations, multiple systems are often used. Think, for example, of products that occur in an ERP package and in a product information management system. As soon as an organization has two or more systems in which the same data occurs, MDM makes sense.

Myth 7: If you use an ERP package, MDM is not necessary.

Fact: ERP solutions are often based on a number of modules. However, business processes go beyond modules.

Myth 8: An Enterprise Data Warehouse makes MDM obsolete.

Fact: An Enterprise Data Warehouse is primarily suited for reporting, while MDM is much more focused on supporting and optimizing business processes.

Myth 9: MDM is separate from governance and data quality.

Fact: MDM has precisely everything to do with governance. Monitoring data quality is condition number 1 for a good MDM implementation.

Myth 10: All parties providing MDM solutions offer the same thing.

Fact: MDM is complex and no two MDM solutions are alike. There are many parties offering solutions for MDM, but not every party is qualified to implement an MDM solution. Some parties do not have experience in optimizing business processes. In addition, it often happens that a party has a very specific solution for MDM, tailored to one particular domain, while MDM within many organizations actually requires a multi-domain approach.

Choosing the right MDM solution

So only partner with a party that has extensive experience with MDM implementations. Ask in which domains the company has experience and see what specific business knowledge they have. If you are not sure, you can always ask the party that provides the MDM platform.

Also read our earlier blog on Master Data Management – the key to success.