Next Generation Master Data Management: Powered for Business
by Jon Case
Originally published May 11, 2010
Early master data management (MDM) deployments provided IT departments with high quality and trustworthy data to solve data warehouse problems and improve business analytics for back office operations. Although these first-generation MDM implementations delivered value, they did not deliver the full potential for providing enterprise-wide front- and back-office benefits to organizations.
First-Generation MDM – Augmenting Business Intelligence and Data WarehousingThe primary user of first-generation MDM was a business or data analyst at an IT organization or business intelligence group, focused on solving analytical problems. Most did not concentrate on understanding individual customers, but rather a collective mass of clients with similar characteristics. As a result, many first-generation MDM implementations did not reach the front of a data lifecycle or directly impact actual customer interactions.
Early adopters of MDM technologies, who realized value from their past deployments, are now focused on expanding MDM’s use beyond the back office to enhance customer service and other front-office processes.
For example, an insurance company that deployed first-generation MDM used it to help determine which customers purchased auto insurance policies and created a marketing campaign to sell them additional products and services. With the move to the next generation of MDM, the insurance company can now apply MDM to its CRM system so that when a customer calls, the agent at the point of service knows what, if any, products the customer owns in addition to auto insurance.
Extending MDM’s Power to Business ApplicationsWith the next generation of MDM, organizations can experience a higher level of value as enhanced data is delivered enterprise-wide, enabling new capabilities that weren’t possible when data was housed in application silos. MDM can augment existing applications and enable new applications by integrating MDM-enhanced data into existing applications via plug-ins, data services, or deployed as new horizontal or vertical applications.
Boosting Existing Applications with MDM Data and Capabilities
Salesforce.com is a customer relationship management tool that tracks customers, prospects and associated contacts at organizations. It’s an extremely powerful application for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with customers and sales prospects, and can deliver even more with MDM. By leveraging next generation plug-in technologies, trusted master data functionality can be easily, tightly and transparently integrated so it appears to users as part of Salesforce.com.
In addition, external data can be matched to master data. Plug-ins enable leads to be loaded into Salesforce.com, without creating duplicates, because lists are checked against trusted master data to identify any duplicates beforehand.
Increasing Value with New MDM-Powered Applications
New lightweight MDM-powered applications designed to manage newly accessible data offer the best way to increase the value of MDM. These applications can easily be customized to meet individual customer requirements.
With customer and sales territory information, information can be readily assembled from multiple data sources to manage sales territories much more precisely than in the past. This results in the need for new tools and applications to enable sales managers to manage these data sets. MDM-powered sales territory management applications increase value to organizations through:Empowering Vertical Industry Applications with MDM
Enterprise-wide MDM deployments can present new opportunities to business users in vertical markets such as financial services, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and telecommunications. An example of where MDM creates new possibilities is in the financial services industry when new customer accounts are created. This process, called customer onboarding, traditionally occurred in specific systems dedicated to each line of business – checking, loans, savings, etc. – because it was almost impossible to create consistent processes across the enterprise. Consistent onboarding is especially important for institutions with large numbers of commercial customers or high net-worth individuals, as they prefer a fairly controlled process for creating a new customer account.
Delivering Enterprise-Wide Value with MDM-Powered ApplicationsCompanies can provide enterprise-wide access to more trustworthy data, automate manual processes and enable new capabilities by enhancing existing applications with MDM data and capabilities and deploying new MDM-powered applications. By using next generation MDM-powered plug-ins, services and applications throughout the enterprise, companies can improve operational efficiency and employee productivity, increase customer service and satisfaction, and deliver other business values that provide an immediate return on investment.
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