With the proliferation of data sources and growth in the amount of information within organizations, Master Data Management (MDM) is becoming increasingly important. Why should you start with MDM? If it used to be a “customer 360 view” today it is challenges such as integration of external data sources, processing real-time data or being compliant with privacy legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation? Implementing MDM involves much more than just implementing technology; MDM is primarily about the interplay between Business and IT. Before you start with MDM, your organization must therefore meet a number of requirements.

Get the most out of your data

Master Data Management consists of two parts. On the one hand there is the technology, but ultimately MDM is all about managing and optimally exploiting your data (‘become data driven!’). It is therefore important to implement MDM in the organization in a controlled manner.

Get the governance right

The most important prerequisite for an adequate MDM implementation is to assign the right responsibilities. For an MDM initiative to succeed, it is essential that the initiative is supported by the entire management. After all, MDM is not just an IT matter. The CIO plays an important facilitating role, but every representative from the business is and remains ultimately responsible for their own data.

Align terminology

Secondly, the business terminology used within the organization should be recorded in a common document (‘business glossary’). How quickly confusion can arise when terminology is not clearly aligned is shown by an easy example: the word “customer address”. What does the marketer mean by this? Is he talking about the delivery address, the billing address or the customer’s visiting address? To avoid mistakes, it is important to describe this precisely. Only when there is unambiguous terminology, which is shared by all parties, does an MDM initiative have a chance of succeeding.

The roles required for this

This is an ongoing process, which requires optimal mutual cooperation of administrators within the organization. With the Board of Directors at the top as the client, and below that, at program level, the Data Governance Manager, process owner, data owner (delegated) and enterprise architect, who must coordinate with each other so that at project level there is clarity about the terminology to be used. At the project level, it is the Data Analyst, Data Steward and Integration Specialist/Developer who can then apply it. Information must be continuously exchanged between the layers so that it is clear at all times:

  • Who is responsible for what?
  • What terminology do we use?
  • Do we have agreement that this is the correct terminology?

MDM Maturity – When does it make sense to start using MDM?

This depends in part on the maturity level of your organization. In doing so, you can distinguish the following steps:

  1. Data governance; are all responsibilities in the right place?
  2. Business processes; are your processes standardized and aligned?
  3. Data quality management; is your data quality improved ad hoc or is data quality improvement a continuous process?
  4. Tools & techniques; do you have the right tools and can you use them appropriately?
  5. Operating Model; do you have the people in the right places and the necessary operational processes in place?

Only when delegated responsibility is woven throughout your organization and your organization is set up appropriately can you begin to consider which tools to deploy to make MDM a reality.

More info

If you want to know more about MDM – please read our previous blogs: “Master Data Management – The Key to Success” and “Master Data Management (2) – The myths and facts”.  Would you like to know how we can assist you in this process? Then get in touch with us now!