MDM Implementation: How to Implement Master Data Management

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By: Sagar Sharma

MDM Implementation : How to Implement Master Data Management?

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 been shown to slow down business growth.

This is where Master Data Management comes into the picture.

What is Multidomain MDM?

Multidomain Master Data Management manages different types of master data which are available across multiple domains. It brings multiple data domains and related processes together into a centralized platform. This ensures the consistency, completeness, and accuracy of the master data throughout the organization.

As multidomain MDM integrates all the data domains into a centralized platform, the MDM functions, processes, and other associated tools become more adaptable/reusable. The presence of multidomain MDM helps organizations in many ways like producing top-quality reporting, conducting accurate data analysis, streamlining complex business processes, and so on.

If you are interested in exploring Master Data Management, read What is Master Data Management (MDM)? & Master Data Management – An Ultimate Guide. Both posts help you get better insights into MDM and understand the core capabilities of the platform.

5 Popular MDM Domains

4 Most Common Fundamentals of MDM Implementation

Master Data Management (MDM) is a crucial aspect of any enterprise that aims to enhance its data strategy. Its implementation is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the organization’s objectives and the data it collects. Four key fundamentals of MDM implementation must be considered for successful adoption.

1. Data Governance

Data governance is a crucial aspect of implementing MDM. It involves defining policies, processes, and standards for how an organization’s data is managed. This includes data quality guidelines, data security protocols, data access permissions, and data retention policies.

Data governance ensures that the organization’s data is accurate, consistent, and reliable. For effective master data governance, it is essential to follow the right practices. Read Best Master Data Governance Practices to set up effective data governance for your organizational data.

2. Data Stewardship

Data stewardship is another critical aspect of MDM implementation. It involves identifying and assigning data stewards who are responsible for managing the organization’s data assets. Data stewards play a crucial role in ensuring that the data is accurate, consistent, and reliable.

They are responsible for maintaining the data’s quality, resolving data-related issues, monitoring compliance with data policies, and ensuring that the organization’s data meets regulatory requirements.

3. Data Quality Management

Data quality management is a foundational aspect of master data management implementation. It involves assessing the quality of an organization’s data and identifying areas for improvement.

This includes tasks such as data profiling, cleansing, validation, enrichment, and monitoring. Data quality management ensures that the organization’s data is accurate, complete, consistent, and timely.

4. Data Access Management

Data access management is another critical element of MDM implementation. It involves defining access controls, permissions, and security protocols to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the organization’s data.

This includes implementing role-based access controls, data encryption, and multi-factor authentication measures to safeguard the organization’s data assets. Effective data access management ensures that the organization’s data remains secure and protected from unauthorized access or breaches.

8 Steps to Implementing Master Data Management

Implementing master data management (MDM) in an organization requires a structured approach. Here are 8 MDM implementation steps:

1. Establishing your business vision and defining the MDM role

The first step on how to implement master data management is to establish the organization’s business vision and goals. This will help define the role of MDM within the larger organizational framework and ensure that the implementation aligns with the overall objectives.

The key decision-makers should be involved in this process to ensure that their expectations are incorporated into the MDM strategy.

2. Identify the right domains for your business vision

Once the business vision and goals are established, the next step is to identify which domain of master data supports the first step toward achieving those goals. This requires a thorough understanding of the organization’s processes, data sources, and data dependencies.

By identifying the domain that will have the most impact on achieving the business vision, organizations can prioritize their MDM efforts and ensure successful implementation.

3. Focus on creating a strong foundation for MDM ROI

After identifying the domain to focus on, organizations need to create a strong foundation that will help them achieve a return on investment (ROI) from their MDM efforts. This includes establishing clear metrics to measure success, defining data governance policies and procedures, and selecting the right MDM tool for their specific needs.

4. Educate your business staff

Once the foundation is set, it’s important to educate the business about the importance of MDM and why it is being implemented. This includes communicating the benefits of a master data management implementation plan such as improved data quality, increased efficiency, and better decision-making capabilities. It’s also important to address any concerns or resistance to change that may arise.

5. Ensure your business strategy and systems are highly scalable and integral

For MDM to be successful in the long term, it is crucial to ensure that the strategy and system put in place are scalable and integrational. This means that the MDM solution should be flexible enough to accommodate future growth and changes within the organization, as well as integrate with other systems and processes within the organization.

By doing so, organizations can ensure that their MDM efforts remain effective and provide value over time.

6. Construction

Once the groundwork has been laid and the organization is fully onboard with MDM, it’s time to begin construction. This involves implementing the chosen MDM tool, establishing data governance procedures, and ensuring that all stakeholders are trained on how to use the system effectively.

It’s important to monitor progress regularly and make adjustments as needed to ensure that the implementation stays on track and meets its goals.

7. Implementation

Once construction is complete, it’s time to roll out the MDM implementation approach system and begin using it in day-to-day operations. This involves transferring data into the system, establishing processes for data management and maintenance, and ensuring that all stakeholders are utilizing the system effectively.

It’s important to continue monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed to ensure that the implementation remains successful over time. With a well-planned and executed MDM strategy, organizations can unlock the full potential of their data and drive better business outcomes.

8. Sustainment

The final step in a successful MDM strategy is sustainment. This involves maintaining the system and ensuring that it continues to deliver business value over time. It’s important to establish ongoing data governance procedures, monitor the performance of the MDM system, and make adjustments as needed to ensure that it remains aligned with the organization’s needs.

Regular training and communication with stakeholders can also help to sustain the success of the MDM implementation methodology. By prioritizing sustainment, organizations can continue to realize the benefits of their MDM efforts and drive better business outcomes for years to come.

How to Prepare a Successful MDM Implementation Plan?

To prepare a successful MDM implementation plan, it is essential, to begin with, a thorough understanding of the organization’s current data landscape, including systems, data sources, and governance policies. It is then important to clearly define the goals and objectives of the MDM initiative and determine the appropriate Master Data Management tools and technology.

A detailed project plan should be developed, outlining the steps involved in the implementation process, as well as timelines and resource requirements. Communication and change management strategies should also be incorporated into the plan to ensure successful adoption and alignment with business objectives. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation are crucial to sustain the effectiveness of the MDM solution and ensure continuous improvement.

A. Organizational Preparations

The integration of an MDM system is a strategic undertaking that necessitates the active involvement and preparation of the business. It is critical to evaluate the following organizational aspects before embarking on the implementation process.

1. Defining Business Goals

  • A complete view of the customer profile
  • Improved data quality
  • Improved customer experience
  • Upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Centralization of customer information
  • Reduced development and system costs
  • Reduced customer communication costs
  • Improved business decisions by having better data

To successfully implement master data management, it is crucial to identify your business goals and prioritize them accordingly. By understanding the key drivers behind your business objectives, you can effectively focus your efforts on achieving the desired outcomes.

This will enable you to make informed decisions that will help you reap the many benefits that an MDM strategy can offer. So, take the time to analyze your business goals and align them with your MDM strategy to ensure that your efforts are strategically aligned and yield optimal results.

2. Creating a business strategy and roadmap

Implementing an MDM system is not just a project, but a program that requires strategic planning for optimal results. Organizations need to realize that the journey toward complete MDM implementation may take several years. Acknowledging this fact at an early stage can help set realistic expectations and ensure a successful deployment of the MDM program.

Developing an MDM evaluation approach and a comprehensive plan can aid in maintaining momentum by addressing the following queries:

  • What needs to be done?
  • What sequence should it be done in?
  • What resources will be required?
  • What benefits will I receive and when?
  • What is it going to cost?
  • Define your Success Criteria

One crucial aspect of managing a successful MDM implementation is the ability to identify and quantify achievements at each stage of the project. This requires establishing clear criteria for success and regularly assessing progress toward these goals.

By doing so, stakeholders can remain informed and engaged, and future funding can be secured to achieve the ultimate objective. This is particularly important given the complex and multi-phased nature of MDM implementations. Concrete milestones serve as markers of progress, enabling project managers to track success and demonstrate the real value of the initiative.

To design an efficient MDM strategy, don’t miss reading How to Create Master Data Management Strategy in 2023? Also, visit All You Need to Know About Master Data Management (MDM) [Steps & Roadmap to Create Strategic MDM] to explore about the roadmap to design a robust Master Data Management solution for your organization.

3. Getting an executive sponsor for MDM implementation

Implementation of MDM can prove to be a lengthy process for most organizations. If you are contemplating an MDM implementation, you likely have several systems in place that gather, organize and present customer information.

However, the sheer amount of data, coupled with inconsistencies in quality and duplication, can cause complications. It is essential to understand that the complexity of the issue has developed over a prolonged period and therefore, resolving these complex data issues will require some time.

It is crucial to secure the support of an executive sponsor to ensure the success of an initiative. In today’s business world, many organizations operate in a project-oriented manner, with limited funding allocated on a project-by-project basis.

However, for long-term initiatives such as Master Data Management (MDM), a broader vision and sustained support are required to achieve ultimate success. This kind of backing can only be provided by an executive with the authority and influence to promote the initiative and ensure its success.

4. Getting ownership

In certain organizations, the concept of application ownership may not be fully established. However, for a successful implementation of Master Data Management (MDM), it is crucial to appoint an application owner who is accountable for overseeing the MDM application.

This individual bears the sole responsibility of ensuring that the MDM system is functioning optimally and meeting the organization’s needs. Having a dedicated application owner can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the MDM implementation, leading to improved data quality and better decision-making capabilities.

MDM represents a core application that plays a pivotal role in delivering business value to its clients. As a foundational application, MDM is utilized by several client applications within an organization, each with a specific agenda for customer information.

Consequently, ensuring that all decisions related to MDM are in the best interests of all stakeholders is critical. The application owner must, therefore, be vigilant in ensuring that MDM’s functionality aligns with the client’s needs and expectations.

5. Bring data governance to the party

For those who are new to the world of master data management, you’re likely looking to perfect your understanding of Party, person, and organization information. But what exactly is master data? Essentially, it refers to information that is relevant to multiple areas of a business.

However, this goes beyond simply having the record information. It also encompasses how the information is sourced and utilized, which can vary among different stakeholders within the company. This makes data governance vital for running a business.

By implementing a structured process for addressing issues regarding the definition and use of information, master data can effectively meet the needs of all stakeholders in a manner that all parties find acceptable.

6. Establishing rules and enforcing them aptly

Certain entities prioritize data stewardship over data governance. The key distinction between these two methodologies hinges largely upon the necessity for compliance. Governance, by its very nature, necessitates the establishment of rules and enforcement mechanisms; this is precisely what master data management requires to be successful.

Numerous enterprises face the issue of fragmented master data, which is dispersed across various systems, lacking central management with a uniform set of data accuracy and consistency regulations, and frequently replicated and altered in multiple locations.

This is precisely the challenge that an MDM solution aims to resolve. However, it would be counterproductive to invest in a new technology platform only to encounter the same dilemmas as before.

Establish rules for:

  • Where does master data come from?
  • When should it be accepted and deviate from a rule?
  • Establish a system for reviewing exceptions and ensuring adherence through mandated timelines.
  • The process to add new attributes
  • The procedure for managing the duplication of data and determining its appropriateness

7. Work as a team

Numerous organizations have compartmentalized structures that may hinder cross-functional initiatives. However, implementing a Master Data Management (MDM) system can bridge the gaps among these silos.

It is important to initiate the process early on and establish a productive relationship among different silos. Identifying the key stakeholders and gaining their support for the program can be a crucial step toward a successful MDM implementation.

8. SOA you need Governance

The latest advancements in MDM technology have adopted a Service Oriented Architecture methodology and are seamlessly integrated into your existing systems through a service bus. As MDM serves as a fundamental application, it offers a range of services that cater to the entire organization’s needs.

To ensure the strategic implementation of services and avoid the creation of JBOWS (Just a Bunch Of Web Services), careful planning and governance are necessary. It is imperative to design services that serve the organization’s objectives while also ensuring seamless integration and maximum efficiency.

Within an IT organization, having an SOA governance function is a crucial component. This organizational body ensures that services are meticulously defined, with well-documented and easily understood business rules, to cater to a diverse range of clients.

Commercial MDM products are well-suited to provide a multitude of services, with hundreds of readily available options to add to the service catalog. This contribution of extensive services out of the box can be immensely valuable to organizations seeking to streamline their service offerings.

B. System and Data Preparation

Before embarking on your MDM journey, it is important to undertake preparatory tasks to ensure a smooth and efficient process. These tasks will not only help to keep things moving along but will also provide a better understanding of the challenges that lie ahead.

By addressing these tasks beforehand, you will be better equipped to tackle the complexities of MDM and achieve your desired outcomes with greater success.

1. Identifying Master Data

It should be noted that not every piece of information about a customer (or any other domain targeted by your MDM implementation) can be classified as master data. Master data is characterized as data that holds significance for more than one department within an organization. It constitutes critical information that several individuals across departments are interested in and can gain from having a consolidated view.

Central management of your master data is feasible while your other related domain information can remain in the systems that own or control that information. To consolidate these various sources of information and offer clients a transparent view, the Enterprise Service Bus is utilized as a common means of integration.

2. Identifying consumers

Discover the software programs responsible for producing master data and those that rely on it for efficient functioning.

Outline how these applications interact with one another:

  • How to store master data? (Database or as a file)
  • How do they update the master data?
  • Do they create a key?
  • Do they share master data?
  • How is it shared?
  • How often?
  • Whether master data additions and updates made by other applications and sent back to the current application to keep it up to date?
  • What volume of master data exists?
  • How much data to add, update and modify are executed?
  • What information is created, used, or stored?
  • What are your sources of data enrichment?

3. Embrace the Metadata

To successfully implement your MDM strategy, it’s essential to gather a wealth of information about your master data and the systems that create and utilize it. You must protect this valuable intellectual property by storing this information in a reliable and secure metadata repository.

By doing so, you’ll have a centralized location to access and manage your data, which will ultimately help you make more informed business decisions and drive greater efficiency across your organization.

4. Prefer a canonical model

The canonical model is essentially a blueprint that outlines the essential elements that your master data should include, how they should be named and defined, and how they should be organized. Many of the most reputable MDM products in the market come with a pre-established data model that has been meticulously thought out and tested.

However, creating your data model can offer several benefits, such as shielding you from being overly reliant on a vendor’s definition and enabling you to establish your naming conventions and regulations for your data. This can ultimately lead to a more streamlined and effective data management system that is tailored to your specific business needs.

5. Create a data profile

To successfully implement MDM, it is essential to analyze your data and identify any irregularities or issues that may arise when creating a centralized store of information. By profiling your data, you can gain valuable insights into the anomalies that need to be addressed.

Additionally, it is important to establish a clear set of rules to ensure data quality and prevent the exclusion of significant amounts of data during the implementation process. Taking these steps will set you up for a successful MDM implementation and ensure accurate and reliable data management in the future.

7 Best Practices for Master Data Management Implementation

MDM implementation styles need not be too complicated if the 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 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 the 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 ideally.

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 their master data model.

This approach will help businesses adopt a multi-phase strategy, which will allow tackling just 1 or 2 entities in 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 solving 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 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 develop 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 master data management implementation must perform due diligence on 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 a 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 implementation 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 improved data quality and consistency at the data source itself.

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

Although, you must hire MDM 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 key stakeholders or senior management.

7 – Choose the Right MDM Service Provider

Master Data Management is 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, Semachy, Syndigo & Informatica are popular and proven platforms that is helping a lot of enterprise businesses with product enhancement and improved relationships between key stakeholders, while minimizing custom development.


Nowadays, businesses need to take a holistic approach to their master data management implementation 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: The 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 implementation?

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

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

Say goodbye to data chaos and embrace the power of PIM/MDM to supercharge your business growth!