What Is Master Data Management? How Can It Help Improve Your IT Plans?


Published on
22/07/2022 09:00 AM

What is Master Data Management (MDM), and why is it so crucial to your business?

This is a common question in a world overwhelmed by a constantly growing stream of data. Currently, experts estimate we produce around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. This information has a range of uses, from helping us to improve customer satisfaction levels, to reducing inefficiencies. 

However, huge levels of data can also be notoriously difficult to organise and manage. As the digital world continues to evolve, an organisation's data can often come from a series of sources and environments. When not managed effectively, this data can become corrupted, inefficient, or unreliable. A Master Data Management solution could be the answer.

What is master data management in simple words?

Master Data Management or “MDM” is a strategy designed to effectively organise, store, and leverage critical organisational data. It focuses specifically in the “master data” in a business. 

This term is commonly used to describe core information associated with products, business locations, and customers. For instance, customer addresses and business phone numbers are examples of master data. In the average business, master data is responsible for supporting all kinds of departments throughout the business in boosting efficiency and productivity, while ensuring companies can make better decisions. 

With Master Data Management or “MDM” processes, companies create policies for handling the master dataset for all critical information collected. An MDM strategy can encompass a range of processes, technologies, and people, all committed to consolidating, organising, and categorising information into a single source of truth. 

Put simply, Master Data Management is the process of ensuring you get the most value out of some of the most essential data sources in your ecosystem. 

What is the role of master data management?

role of master data management explained

In today’s digital world, data can play an important role in many of the business processes we engage in on a regular basis. Master data, taking the form of customer, supplier, location, and product information, can be particularly critical to successfully running any company. 

Master Data Management (MDM) processes, ensure companies can leverage the data required to make important business decisions as effectively as possible. These solutions help with managing, centralising, organising, and localising information according to specific business rules. 

The efficient management of master data in a unified repository provides companies with a single, accurate view of all the information required to make crucial business choices. It also helps to reduce the costly inefficiencies often caused by data silos. 

Simply put, MDM solutions support organisations in data-driven initiatives and objectives, through the identification, synchronisation, and enhancement of information collected across multiple products, locations, customers, suppliers, and more. 

Also Read: Data Lifecycle Management: The Complete Guide

What is Master Data Management? Example of Master Data

To fully leverage Master Data Management solutions, companies first need a clear idea of what “master data” encompasses. As mentioned above, there are many important types of “golden” data companies can use to improve their operations. Master data is the core information that describes critical business objects, customers, suppliers, and more. 

Some of the most common examples of master data include:

  • Customer information: Names, phone numbers, addresses, and other critical customer insights are an excellent example of customer data. Maintaining accurate customer data ensures you can enhance and maintain positive relationships with clients. 
  • Transactional data: This is the information recorded about the time, place, and details of various transactions. It’s often important in making business decisions, like deciding which sales avenues to leverage, or which products to promote. 
  • Product data: Product information can include everything from the details surrounding a product and its capabilities, to the materials used to make that product, inventory information, and supply chain elements.


Why Is Master Data Management Important?

Master Data Management is simply the art and science involved in creating a single source of truth for all of the critical “core” data in an ecosystem. 

Even in small businesses, the amount of data a company needs to keep track of can quickly accelerate over time. Without the right Master Data Management strategy in place, it’s easy to lose track of essential information or end up with inconsistencies in your business insights. 

MDM provides a unified view of your entire data ecosystem with up-to-date insights for business decision-making.

What Are The Benefits Of Master Data Management?

benefits of master data management

  • Improved efficiency: Effective master data management gives companies a single place to maintain an authoritative and accurate view of information. This eliminates redundancies which often occur when companies rely on multiple data versions distributed across siloed technologies and environments. 
  • Better data quality: MDM can also ensure organizations gain access to a higher quality of data, suitable for meaningful analytics. The discipline ensures data is collected in a uniform and consistent format, with reduced risks for repeated data points. 
  • Revenue growth: Since MDM activities consolidate comprehensive and trustworthy data from the company in one place, it’s excellent for facilitating revenue growth. Businesses can use MDM solutions to better understand their target customers and their preferred connection channels. This helps to drive revenues up while cutting spending on unnecessary methods of customer acquisition and business growth. 
  • Greater redundancy: Because MDM helps to centralise business data in a secure environment, it also makes it much easier for companies to create effective backups. The repository of information collected in a business can be easily secured and preserved, without the need for different backup strategies across various pieces of technology. 
  • Accelerated time to market: Insights into products and supply chains can help businesses to accelerate their time to market. According to one study, 58% of organisations using MDM solutions were able to reduce their time to market from months to only weeks. Faster time to market means faster revenue growth. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Well-executed strategies for Master Data Management simplify the handling of customer information and help organisations comply with regulatory laws and guidelines. This can be particularly useful in the age of rules like GDPR, which gives customers the option to have data deleted or transferred to other companies.

As demand for data in the business landscape continues to grow, the need for Master Data Management is greater than ever. 

Also Read: How to Build and Drive a Data Culture