What is Master Data Management?

An introduction to Master Data Management, the practice of creating and maintaining a single, unified source of data for a business or enterprise.

What is Master Data Management?
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How to Manage Master Data for Powerful, Accessible Analytics

Master Data Management is the practice of creating and maintaining a single, unified database of all relevant data points and data sources (both internal and external) for a business or enterprise. This facilitates complete, accurate and consistent data, enabling a single source of truth for business intelligence and data analytics.

Master data management (MDM) is a necessity for large organizations. When you manage data properly, you can ensure a single source of truth for people, products, assets, and much more in a business. These master records consolidate information from across all data sources and applications, so you don’t muddy the waters with inconsistent or siloed information.

With master data management, you can count on these records containing data that is always reliable, and you can consistently make data-driven decisions. Master data is worth the effort because it’s truly a “rising tide lifts all boats” scenario. With well-managed master data, you can avoid errors in your data, avoid redundancies, and create accurate reports and analytics. And you can trust that data-driven decisions are being made throughout your company.

All Together Now – A Single Source of Truth for Every Employee

One of the most attractive aspects of master data management is the single source of truth you can provide for every touchpoint in your data warehouse. Every employee can pull up data and get the same single result. The benefits don’t end there, though. Here are some of the other benefits that you reap with a unified data source.

Better Quality Data: Good data is useful, and bad data is detrimental. It’s as simple as that. With proper MDM software, data is usable and qualified, and it can be trusted by your employees. Your data will be consistent across processes, ensuring all processes with data involved are effective and efficient. Typically, data may be stored in many formats and platforms; master data brings it under one unified umbrella.

No Data Duplication: A single source of truth can’t be achieved when there’s conflicting or duplicate information causing redundancies in your system. A single data source will rid you of these redundancies and help employees avoid a multitude of data errors.

Stricter Data Compliance: Increased regulation in the data space means companies need to be extra aware of compliance. Improper data management can lead to compliance errors and noncompliant practices, which are bad for you, your employees, your customers, and the reputation of your business.

Automated Data Management: Using modern data management software takes much of the manual work out of keeping your data warehouse organized. The amount of time and money spent manually maintaining an accurate database is unsustainable and prone to error. With the right master data management system, you can free up valuable resources and prevent costly problems.

Improved Data Governance: When your data is being changed across different platforms and applications by your employees, ensuring data is consistent can be impossible. With a master data management system, you can choose who has the ability to access data and edit it. Not only that, but the edits are made from the master data dashboard, so everyone is on the same page.

The Best Data-Driven Decisions, Every Time: When your master data is accurate, consistent, and reliable across platforms, data-driven decisions will be improved all the way down. Employees, management, leadership, and anyone else who relies on data for informed decisions will be able to devise more efficient and effective strategies in the short term and in the future.

In short, with master data management, you’re going to make everything much easier for just about every member of your organization. You can finally simplify your data structure and remove unnecessary and costly complexities.

A Holistic View – What Are the Different Types of Master Data?

Master data management allows you to get a unified, holistic view of your company. You can make sure that any of your data-driven processes are guided by the same information. There are many different types of master data that a system can store and manage. Here are some of the important data types that you’ll have better control over once you have an MDM system in place.

Customer Data

Your customer and client data should be accurate and reflect the best version of the data to date. With accurate customer data, your customer-related processes are more streamlined. You can create better experiences for your customers, drive sales and profits, ensure your customer reporting metrics are accurate, and much more.

Product Data

Your product data should always be accurate across your online platforms. When your customers engage with your product, the experience should be optimal, information should help them make their decision, and product problems should be evident in the data. This will help you make more sales, improve customer experience, and increase customer lifetime value.

Marketing Data

Marketing is one department that consistently relies on data to make profitable decisions. With accurate and reliable marketing data, your marketing teams can see where campaigns are working and where they could be improved, and they can capitalize on opportunities. When your marketing team has accurate reporting on their side, they can make the most informed and effective campaign decisions and ensure marketing spend is going to the right place.

Supply Chain Data

Your supply chain data needs to have all of the up-to-date information about your suppliers and vendors. This gives supply chain management a top-down, holistic view of the supply chain, better control over supplier and vendor relationships, and more knowledge to leverage in business relationships. Good supply chain data can help point out inefficiencies and give management the ability to make decisions that positively impact the supply chain.

Asset Data

When asset data can be accessed from one unified data warehouse, you’ll have a clearer picture of how your equipment is used, maintenance expenses, future costs, and everything else you need to know about your assets. This helps you make decisions about which assets need replacement, what isn’t needed due to underutilization, and where your team is lacking resources.

Location Data

Proper location data gives large organizations the ability to keep track of customers, employees, assets, facilities, and much more. Location data can help provide accurate location data to customers. It can also help you find which stores or facilities lack resources and identify opportunities for new storefronts and potential locations for new facilities to improve your supply chain.

A Cure for Common Enterprise Pain Points

Master data management software is the solution and cure for a multitude of enterprise pain points. When a business grows, master data management becomes more challenging, and these pain points can be difficult to address. But with the right system in place, you can eliminate many of these pain points at once. Here are just a few issues that can be readily solved with the right MDM solution.

Data Silos and Multi-Domain MDM

Master data management can bring disparate data silos and multi-domain data systems under one roof. When a big data system has too much incongruity among its data sources, trying to merge them can seem nearly impossible without putting in arduous labor and many hours of work. With an MDM solution, data integration is automated, and previously incompatible data systems will be unified.

This is the case especially when your business engages in an acquisition. The prospect of merging data systems as your companies are merging can be a big hindrance to a smooth transition. With an MDM solution already in place, this process can be much more streamlined and ensure there is only one version of data post-merger.

Inconsistent and Inaccurate Data

Many businesses choose to use proprietary data systems and applications. When these disparate technologies meet, it can be difficult to get data organized and consistent. In short, the number of different data systems and structures can make data management a nightmare.

With a master data management solution, your data will be consistent, organized, and high quality. Every type of data from every type of system will be accurate, and the typical manual data entry errors can be avoided

Complex and Time-consuming Ad Hoc Queries

Singular, ad-hoc queries can throw data teams off. These out-of-procedure queries can cost you time and resources and make getting answers needlessly complex. With a master data management solution like Narrator, your data team can greatly reduce the time required to create custom SQL for ad hoc questions.

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Narrator on your Data Warehouse Makes MDM easy

Narrator’s unique data modeling approach makes master data management easy

  • All data in one place: Narrator brings together all different data sources across your organization into a single table in your warehouse.
  • Single data structure: Narrator’s activity schema data model ensures data is all in the same, consistent format, regardless of where it came from.
  • Designed for transactional data: Narrator works directly from transactional data, ensuring a single source of truth and accurate numbers
  • Data for any domain: data can be seamlessly organized by customer, by product, by business location, or by any other high-level business entity or concept.

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