By Tobias Manolo
The rate at which data is being generated coupled with technologies that are changing before our very eyes, and you can understand how data quality could be affected. Capturing, storing and analysing that data is not only time-consuming, but is also open to duplication and errors. Enter MDM, or Master Data Management… not to be confused with mobile device management.
In our everyday lives, we use the MDM approach very effectively; move house and you form a plan to advise a range of organisations of the move – doctors, banks, utility companies, etc.; looking after your family and a job also requires an MDM approach in order to effectively get everyone where they should be, on time. So, why don’t businesses use the same approach when it comes to mastering the art of managing their data?
Gartner has predicted that there will be a 19% compound annual growth rate in MDM software revenues, worldwide, by 2015. Organisations are starting to take on board the concept of MDM, and understand the benefits of utilising their data assets – better productivity, optimised business processes, improved communication and a higher level of personal, proactive customer service. But implementing MDM is all-encompassing process throughout the organisation, integrated into all business operations in order to ensure a multi-channel, beneficial, uniform approach to delivering the ultimate in user experience.
The first step in implementing MDM is to standardise all the data, and when we talk data we mean actionable information generated from raw data that has been intelligently analysed, that is associated with the company’s service or product offering(s), which will allow for the standardisation applications, systems and processes, delivering a holistic view of the company’s operations. Through data governance policies and processes, information can be managed, but the raw data needs to be complete and accurate in order to act upon the information generated. Incorrect or incomplete data will leave any automated systems delivering just half the job, leaving staff to intervene and manually resolve any issues… how frustrating!
Look at your existing business processes rather than focusing on the raw data that is stored across a range of systems. For example, is the quality of your data monitored within your principal processes; is there a policy or guideline that defines data governance and decision-making? Ultimately, the aim is to align your MDM with the organisation’s business strategy.
But watch out… centralising and automating your business processes may have quite an impact on your organisation! With an approach that is process-driven and implemented across the business, the control of data assets, i.e. actionable information, with regards to products, finance, partners and, of course, your customers is streamlined, flexible, enhances performance, improves forecasting and decision-making, ensures regulatory compliance and reduces risk, delivering business processes that are targeted to your industry.