“MDM plays a key role within an information architecture as a provider and custodian of master data to the enterprise.”
― Allen Dreibelbis,
Master Data Management (MDM): What is it?
With each year of rapidly evolving business requirements, companies have grown their information system landscapes into complex topographies of ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence, Financial Reporting, Planning, and other operational systems. While each is required for successful business operations, ensuring cross-system accuracy and consistency has become critical. That is where master data management comes in.
An organization’s Master Data includes all the information within an organization that is important to the operations of that business and is consistent across all systems, applications, and processes. Because master data is consistent across all operations, an error in the master set results in an error throughout the organization. In some instances, this can lead to large fines or damage to a brand reputation.
Master Data Management (MDM) can be further defined as the technology, tools, and processes required to create and maintain consistent and accurate lists of master data. Firstly, Fundamental changes to business process will be required to maintain clean master data, and some of the most difficult MDM issues are more political than technical. The second thing to note is that MDM includes both creating and maintaining master data. Investing a lot of time, money, and effort in creating a clean, consistent set of master data is a wasted effort unless the solution includes tools and processes to keep the master data clean and consistent as it is updated and expanded.
Master Data Management has two architectural components:
- The technology to profile, consolidate and synchronize the master data across the enterprise
- The applications to manage, cleanse, and enrich the structured and unstructured master data.
MDM must seamlessly integrate with modern Service Oriented Architectures in order to manage the master data across the many systems that are responsible for data entry, and bring the clean corporate master data to the applications and processes that run the business.
MDM becomes the central source for accurate fully cross-referenced real time master data. It must seamlessly integrate with data warehouses, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) applications, and all Business Intelligence (BI) systems, designed to bring the right information in the right form to the right person at the right time.
In addition to supporting and augmenting SOA and BI systems, the MDM applications must support data governance. Data Governance is a business process for defining the data definitions, standards, access rights, quality rules. MDM executes these rules. MDM enables strong data controls across the enterprise.
The data quality problems continue to impact operational efficiency and reporting accuracy. Master Data Management is the key. It fixes the data quality problem on the operational side of the business and augments and operationalizes the data warehouse on the analytical side of the business. The pain that organizations are experiencing around consistent reporting, regulatory compliance, strong interest in Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and Software as a Service (SaaS) has prompted a great deal of interest in Master Data Management (MDM). MDM solutions comprise a broad range of data cleansing, transformation, and integration practices.
As data sources are added to the system, MDM initiates processes to identify, collect, transform, and repair data. Once the data meets the quality thresholds, schemas and taxonomies are created to help maintain a high-quality master reference. Organizations using MDM enjoy peace of mind that data throughout the enterprise is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent.
In a Nutshell:
The recent emphasis on regulatory compliance, SOA, and mergers and acquisitions has made the creating and maintaining of accurate and complete master data a business imperative. Both large and small businesses must develop data-maintenance and governance processes and procedures, to obtain and maintain accurate master data.
MDM journey involves discipline, clearly defined processes, business drivers, accountability, and governance of master data by data stewards. Indeed, data governance is the key factor for a successful journey.
In order to successfully manage the master data, support corporate governance, and augment SOA and BI systems, the MDM applications must have the following characteristics:
- A flexible, extensible and open data model to hold the master data and all needed attributes (both structured and unstructured). In addition, the data model must be application neutral, yet support OLTP workloads and directly connected applications.
- A metadata management capability for items such as business entity matrixed relationships and hierarchies.
- A source system management capability to fully cross-reference business objects and to satisfy seemingly conflicting data ownership requirements.
- A data quality function that can find and eliminate duplicate data while insuring correct data attribute survivorship.
- A data quality interface to assist with preventing new errors from entering the system even when data entry is outside the MDM application itself.
- A continuing data cleansing function to keep the data up to date.
- An internal triggering mechanism to create and deploy change information to all connected systems.
- A comprehensive data security system to control and monitor data access, update rights, and maintain change history.
- A user interface to support casual users and data stewards.
- A data migration management capability to insure consistency as data moves across the real-time enterprise.
- A highly available and scalable platform for mission critical data access under heavy mixed workloads.
Techwave‘s market-leading MDM solutions have all of these characteristics. With the broadest set of operational and analytical MDM applications in the industry.
And at Techwave, MDM is designed to support Governance, Risk mitigation, and Compliance (GRC) by eliminating inconsistencies in the core business data across applications and enabling strong process controls on a centrally managed master data store.
To learn more about Techwave Service Offerings, visit Information Management Services