I'm engaged with a number of clients who need the benefits of a streamlined data infrastructure with multiple systems utlizing the same customer list, product list and so on. Master data management (MDM) is a term that comes to mind to solve the problems. Sometimes I'm engaged to organize master data management in the environment and sometimes to look an organization's serious data issues - the ones driving up TCO, keeping the staff busy with repetitive, error-prone tasks and keeping them from getting a full view of customers and products - which leads to MDM as an area to look at for solutions.
I think of MDM as a term to address to a number of real business problems. It has to do with data quality, sharing data across systems, an enterprise data model, and governance processes and workflows as well as sometimes being a direct data layer to a data-intensive application like CRM. It's not a product although some products bearing the label provide these benefits.
So, why do MDM? If and when it alleviates real business pain, solves business problems and enables new ROI-producing functionality. MDM happens to be a discipline sitting squarely in the sweet spot of modern competitive advantages.
Posted September 16, 2009 12:16 PM
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