What is Master Data Management?

Last Updated: October 23, 2019By
[glossary_exclude]Master data management (MDM) is a key process for IG success in the IT department, which extends to involved business units. An emerging discipline, MDM came into prominence around 2010 to 2012, coinciding with the Big Data trend.

The goal of MDM is to ensure that reliable, accurate data from a single source is leveraged across business units. That is, a key aim is to establish a “single version of the truth” (1) and eliminate multiple, inconsistent versions of data sets, which are more common than most might think, especially in larger organizations with physically distributed operations and large numbers of servers and databases.

MDM gets to the core of data integrity issues, essentially asking “Is this data true and accurate? Is this the best and only, final version?” MDM grew from the need to create a standardized, “discrete discipline” to ensure there was a single version to base analytics calculations on and to base decisions on. (2)  According to Gartner, MDM: “is 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. Master data is the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies and chart of accounts.” (3)

What is the business impact? How are operations enhanced and how does that contribute to business goals? One set of reliable, clean data is critical to delivering quality customer service, reducing redundant efforts and therefore operational costs, improving decision making, monetizing data, and even potentially to lower product and marketing costs.

A unified view of customers, products, or other data elements is critical to turning these business goals into reality. The larger the organization, the greater the need for MDM.[/glossary_exclude]


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