Master Data Management is a difficult concept to explain. The Gartner IT Glossary defines it 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.” Unlike the discipline’s brisk acronym, MDM, this definition doesn’t quite roll off the tongue or bring us closer to understanding.
Master Data Management is a way to create one reference source for all essential business data, avoiding duplicates, errors, and wasted time. Let’s have a look at why you should consider Master Data Management in your business:
You Can’t See All Your Data at a Single Glance
Every business has several data sets they juggle. Doing that is a pain point sometimes. This lack of centralized communication can lead to employees taking hours to answer a question that should be simple and have a definitive response that is easily verifiable. Does this sound familiar? All of this data must be crossed to a single point of reference at some time.
Even a question as simple as “how many employees do we have in total?” is difficult to answer when one has to wade through files upon files of employee addresses and phone numbers. A business depends on complying with regulations by timely delivering health insurance documents and W2’s to their employees. It shouldn’t take up valuable time and resources to do these routine tasks, especially in instances where HR and IT should work together.
Your Data is Riddled with Errors
Wasting precious business time coming up with just one number is one problem. Not being able to find a definitive answer because you don’t trust your data is an even more challenging issue. When there are several separate files for each type of information and conflicting guides on when and how to update it, large chunks of critical business data won’t get updated on time.
This inconsistency is a critical issue. If the road to updating the stocking information on the business website is layered and cumbersome, customers will often order products that they can’t receive. What they will receive is an unpleasant surprise in their inboxes when the business informs them that what they ordered is out of stock, even though the website showed the product is available to order.
You Want to Know Your Customers Better
The marketing of today is precise and effective because of all the data a business can collect about their customers. Cross-referencing information offers more effective ways to target customers with offers that are relevant to them.
When cross-referencing information becomes difficult or impossible because there is no shared, master reference source of data, all kinds of mix-ups can happen. Customers might receive offers on products they have already purchased, products that aren’t available for purchase in their area, or even entire product lines that don’t interest them.