How to Implement Master Data Management?
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By: Sagar Sharma

How to Implement Master Data Management? [7 Best Practices]

Data, as you might already know, is a critical asset for any business.

Data helps businesses to establish a strong foundation to drive business growth.

Specifically, consistent and quality data helps businesses with better decision making and gives a competitive advantage in the market.

And not only that, but it also helps businesses to establish improved stakeholder relationships between customers, partners, and suppliers.

But, in a traditional business, business-critical data about products, partners, and customers are often fragmented, which ultimately gets duplicated or misinterpreted, compromising the overall business performance and growth.

And with rapidly increasing demand for faster product launches, cost optimization, business competitiveness, and compliance with government regulations, enterprise businesses are in dire need of consistent quality data.

In fact, inconsistent and poor quality data across different systems within an organization has shown to slow down business growth.

This is where Master Data Management comes into the picture.

How Master Data Management Implementation can Help?

Master Data Management is basically a set of strategies, technologies, methodologies, and disciplines that help businesses cleanse, consolidate, enrich, and govern critical business data across all internal systems.

In simple words, MDM implementation helps businesses improve the quality and consistency of their critical data assets which generally includes, customer data, product data, suppliers data, location data, and so on.

Here are the 4 main key benefits of implementing master data management in a business.

  • Enhancing analytics capabilities, reporting, and business intelligence
  • Discovering new opportunities to engage customers
  • Improving business processes
  • And optimizing data management across the organization

So, now that you know what is master data management and its key benefits, let’s move forward and see the best practices for MDM implementation.

7 Best Practices for Master Data Management Implementation

MDM implementation need not be too complicated if business and IT partner work hand-in-hand.

However, it’s imperative to follow the best practices to implement MDM effectively in your business.

1 – Align MDM Vision with Your Business Vision

If you’re planning to implement master data management in your business, then first you need to answer is a few critical questions related to the MDM implementation.

In simple words, all your data related issues must be identified and understood in order to properly align the MDM vision with your business vision.

You need to basically outline Why, How, and Who of your MDM initiative to track its ROI.

This process will help you come up with and solidify the best MDM strategy and plans so that you can perfectly fit the MDM with your organization’s needs.

2 – Start Small. Think Big

Most businesses don’t let their key master data assets like customer master data, product master data, and supplier master data sit ideal.

But, when implementing an MDM solution, it’s critical for businesses to start small and focus only on one sub-set at a time of its master data lists.

This approach will help businesses adopt a multi-phase strategy, which will allow tackling just 1 or 2 entities each phase to make them ready to scale in the upcoming phases.

In fact, if you ignore the future scalability when implementing MDM for all your business entities, it will eventually lead to isolated master data silos, which will ultimately recreate the problem that you envisioned to solve with MDM in the first place.

So, when it comes to MDM implementation, it’s highly critical to think big, but take baby steps to accomplish small wins and get ready for the next steps.

3 – Track Progress

When implementing a Master Data Management solution, it’s critical to articulate important metrics and parameters to track the progress in quantifiable terms.

In simple terms, it’s necessary to have pre-defined objectives and success criteria to establish confidence in the MDM initiative.

For instance, after the completion of each phase, you must measure its ROI by setting diverse objectives in advance.
Suppose you’re starting the MDM implementation with your customer master data. In this case, you must track its ROI in terms of up-sell, cross-sell, and the benefits you gained from the increased quality of reporting.

4 – Collaboration is the Master Key

Master Data Management is basically all about quality-oriented, data governance of your master data assets that almost always involves adopting new technology.

Such MDM initiatives frequently span over different units across the business organization. And therefore, the success of MDM initiatives often depends on the level of collaboration among all the units that are coming together to supply input and developing the end-solution.

AS a result, this process also gives the key stakeholders a sense of involvement with the MDM implementation initiative.

In fact, it’s even good to have a change management leader who can socialize all the developments happening in the MDM implementation to all stakeholders in the business.

5 – Maintain Architecture Consistency & Product Fit

Businesses that are planning to implement master data management must perform due diligence of the MDM-enabling technology and architecture.

In simple words, the architecture must be discussed and strengthened before implementing MDM.

There are many architectural styles that businesses can adopt such as Transaction Hub, Registry, and Co-Existence.

Each of these architectural styles has its own advantages and drawbacks in terms of cost and performance.

However, most enterprise businesses prefer co-existence architectural style as this style has the potential to meet all their business goals at an effective cost.

Apart from the architecture consistency, businesses should also make sure that their chosen MDM-enabling technology blends with their overall IT infrastructure and ecosystem.

6 – Embrace Data Governance

Master data management is not a one-time data cleansing exercise. The primary purpose of MDM is to help businesses enable a “Be Clean and Stay Clean” process across the entire organization.

And it’s for this reason businesses must embrace data governance.

In the data governance process, businesses basically need to identify, capture, measure, and rectify all data quality and consistency at the data source itself.

The MDM-enabling technologies like Pimcore already provide all the tools need to establish a data governance process and manage all master data assets.

Although, you must hire Pimcore developers to build a personalized data governance model to support operational and analytical processes.

In a nutshell, for the MDM implementation to succeed, it is critical that the data governance process in your business is supported by the key stakeholders or senior management.

7 – Choose the Right MDM Service Provider

Master Data Management is a rapidly growing in terms of technology.

There are already a lot of platform providers in the market that offer useful MDM features like data governance graphical user interface (GUI), survivorship, and third-party integration with agencies like Experian.

However, it is imperative to choose the right MDM service provider who will help you select the right MDM-enabling technology.

Currently, Pimcore development is a popular and proven platform that is helping a lot of enterprise businesses with product enhancement and improved relationships between key stakeholders, while minimizing custom development.

Conclusion

Nowadays, businesses need to take a holistic approach to their master data management strategy.

Remember, the right choice of MDM-enabling technology and master data management implementation can immensely help any business in different master data related activities such as decision-making, cross-selling, up-selling, compliance, and so on.

FAQs about Master Data Management

Q:1 – What is master data?

Ans: Master data basically represents the important business objects, which store the critical, valuable, and agreed-upon business information shared across an enterprise organization.

Q:2 – Why master data management process?

Ans: Master data management process is basically about creating a single, authoritative data source within an organization. This data source passes through a meticulous process where all business-critical data is contained in a master file.

Q:3 – What is the best MDM-enabling technology?

Ans: Pimcore, in our opinion, is one of the best MDM-enabling technology available in the market and there are many famous, global brands already using it.

Q:4 – What are the advantages of master data management?

Ans: The key advantages of master data management are the following:

  • Eliminates poor quality data
  • Facilitates privacy management
  • Improves business processes
  • Ensures timely product recalls


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