Master Data Management (MDM) Tips and Strategies

by Fran Piggott  - April 22, 2009

Master Data Management is one of the hottest buzz words in data management circles. The ideas aren’t new, but the combined concepts are now being refined and studied under this new category of data management. Master Data Management, also called MDM, contains all of the data that is considered the most important for the business. For most organizations, that is customer or transactional data.

MDM should make your life easier. You should be able to find old customer orders, review historical trends, and contact old clients easily because of the work that has gone into organizing your data.

As a company grows, so does its data files, and if it is not managed well, this can explode in a plethora of separate files that do not interconnect at all. This means that the accounting department has its own customer base, while the customer service department has a different list, and yet they service the same clients.

When a company experiences tremendous growth, data storage and systems often is an afterthought. This might work for a little while, but it will cause great problems as the growth continues. If sales are growing at a rapid clip, often times sales will want their own system for tracking them. Likewise, because of the furious business activity, accounting will want its own system. Often times, each system is selected independently.

After a couple of months, you decide on software for computing payroll and taxes, and then after a year, your partner also decides to buy an application for machine maintenance and logistics. Now your company has four different, large, data files.

MDM is not a magic solution, but it can help you wrap your head around all of the many systems and data make them work better together. It will help provide solid documentation and organization, something that rapid growing organizations usually lack.

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