Today, the sheer volume of data that flows through a modern enterprise is staggering. And it is not just the all-important customer data either. For a manufacturer, it can involve information about their testing efforts, suppliers, and materials. For a retailer, it may be about their operations, supply chain, and merchandising. In the case of an insurance provider, it may be about third parties, like garages, partners, and claims processes. In short, data is the lifeline of the modern enterprise.
Unless they are properly managed, data tends to pile up over time and get stored in complex silos. It then reaches the point of redundancy where business impact starts to become more and more telling. Hence, without a master strategy to collect, verify, maintain, and share huge volumes of data, the very functioning of the enterprise can be affected.
As the complexity in managing data keeps rising, the criticality of their usage is exponentially growing too. Therefore, ensuring data consistency and accuracy has quickly become a top boardroom priority. It is why you need a “golden record” of all the data in your enterprise; the proverbial single source of truth that can help you control, optimize, and capitalize upon them.
Master Data Management Solution: Doing a lot more with data
Gartner defines Master Data Management (MDM) as a “technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency, and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets.”
Basically, MDM provides a single consolidated view of data collected from the different sources in your enterprise. A sound Master Data Management strategy can help you streamline, match, synchronize, cleansing, and enrich data across multiple business systems. You can seamlessly connect and share data from all your sources and build a 360° view that provides not only customer intelligence for capitalizing on current business opportunities but also operational insights for future-proofing the enterprise’s growth. MDM also helps you reinvent the customer engagement experience by adding more contextuality to service delivery.
When the data comes from any source into the MDM, it is first validated by assessing the input XML’s structure and schema. Then, business rules can be validated for different fields before conducting a quality check on the data. The last step is matching the data against the master database and updating it via automatic merging.
Some of the types of data governed by MDM are:
- Unstructured Data: (emails, documents, portals, etc.)
- Transactional Data: (bill of sales, invoices, claims, etc.)
- Metadata: (configuration files, reports, etc.)
- Business-Specific Master Data: (customers, products, etc.)
The four pillars of Master Data Management
Migrating data, especially from legacy systems to new systems or enriching existing systems from external sources, can be complicated. You must resolve structural issues with incoming data and trigger a smooth kick-off to the data journey – from collection and validation to entry into the master data hub.
Since MDM is agnostic to applications and systems, all data – no matter the source – are effortlessly consolidated. Whether from your CRM, ERP, brick-and-mortar, or even the customer, you can easily de-duplicate and combine the data and put trackability measures in place.
Data governance is a crucial part of MDM, which helps identify and verify or resolve data issues while remaining close to the source. Even though quality assurance can be automated in the MDM, you must ensure comprehensive information governance to maximize your “golden records.”
Access rights to data must be based on an individual’s job or role on the master data. A practical MDM approach ensures that users only receive specific and restricted information that is crucial to fulfilling functional requirements instead of being exposed to all the data streams.
Creating measurable business impact on all sides
- Avoid storing data silos across various systems that lead to errors, redundancies, and inconsistencies
- Increase compliance with data regulations by eliminating security breaches and discrepancies against regulatory standards
- Enhance decision-making ability by providing streamlined access to updated and quality data
- Strengthen business continuity and disaster management recovery measures by allowing easy backup and storage of data
- Harness operational efficiency to create more business agility to focus on finetuning products, packaging solutions, improving communication, etc.
- Minimize supply chain complexities while speeding up product development and time-to-market
- Give IT owners a complete and consolidated view of enterprise infrastructure to optimize systems and applications
- Give operational owners a single source of truth about individual and collaborative workflows
- Give marketing and sales teams a 360-degree view of customer behavior, actions, and interactions to run more purposeful campaigns
- Be in a position to ride new technology waves, without missing out on meeting traditional data management goals
In 2020, Master Data Management remains one of the few technology disciplines that are over a decade-old yet tremendously relevant to the overall scheme of things for creating a modern enterprise. Whether you are a retailer, an insurer, or from any other service-based industry, the flow of data is only bound to increase from here, considering the continued spread of the digital culture. So, your enterprise needs to be equipped with the right firepower to manage all your data from one place.
With master data management (MDM) tools, you can get to that promised land. Ensure operational efficiency, more robust quality assurance, workforce productivity, a more collaborative partner and supplier ecosystem, and ultimately – exceptional customer experiences.