Master Data Management – Strategy or Technology? | Hacker Noon

@sembrownSem Brown

Digital Strategist and Brand Consultant with 10+ years of experience.

As companies transform many of their core systems we feel it’s important to speak to our experiences with big master data management technologies that make vastclaims, and have giant invoices behind those claims. Being on the services end of these technologies, we quickly gained perspective from both sides; the promises made and the realities associated with moving forward without a sound strategy that is aligned with anorganization’s 5 to 10 year plan.

Most importantly, no strategy or technology will succeed without thoughtful leadership and acceptance of the need to change. The cost of change is very real in opportunity loss, but for how long is it acceptable? Is it possible to measure a rolling ROI of the processes needing improvement in order to justify the effort before a transformation begins and again after changes are in place?

As we continue to learn and build methods of measurement, lets review some of the key features of the technology side of Master Data Management solutions.

Linking Data – Virtually all business organizations own data that is living on systems that don’t talk to each other. As a result of these silos of data, it is common to find an increasing number of data duplications and variations. MDM tools are equipped with algorithms that identify duplications and assist in linking data accurately.

Centralized Data – It is an objective of MDM to manage data according to business rules. When data is modified per standard business rules, sharing data across multiple platforms becomes easy. Therefore, if one rule changes, its impact can be seen everywhere.

Localized Data – Data localization is a process that restricts data within the physical boundaries of a device or place. The free flow of data is restricted to encourage security across the data. Each government authority has set up a localized data funnel to promote data security. Through MDM integration, data restrictions can be imposed efficiently.

Enriched Data – It also falls under the responsibility of master data management solutions to ensure that data coming from various sources is fully enriched. It is a crucial element to cleanse and streamline data to perform a specific task. Thus, refining data and maintaining high quality is one of the primary objectives of MDM, and maybe the most important.

Types of Master Data Management

MDM master data management is the process of sorting information, it can be done in any number of ways. Data can be sorted based on cost, transactions, reference, and so on. Therefore, data management can be implemented in different types, but commonly following types of master data management categories are used:

Monetary – Information based on market data such as purchased cost, sales cost, or any other significant cost is recorded. Mostly, businesses are interested in knowing the monetary data; consequently, this type of management is often practiced.

Carnality – Data paired with millions of rows contains more value when compared to the data linked to one or two rows. To sort a large number of data, this type of management is preferred.

Periodically – Data has a definite life cycle. Once this period is over, the data won’t remain significant for the organization.  Thus, managing data as per the life cycle helps in getting rid of irrelevant data after a significant period.

Volatility – Data can be fixed or variable. To align fixed data doesn’t require master data management. However, variable data needs to be defined properly; therefore MDM is required.

Reusability – One fragment of data can be used to perform multiple operations. Typically, customer preference data can be used by sales, marketing, and some other departments also. Accordingly, the data should be presented in a form that all the relevant parties can easily use.

Master Data Management Principles 

Master data management solutions are the foundation of vrious business decisions so the roots of master data need to be coined around solid principles. You should formulate your master data on the following vital pillars:

Data Integrity – The output of an operation is dependent upon its input. If you feed the right input, you will receive the desiredoutcome. This principle of master data management is noted as “data integrity.” If data retrieved from different departments is inaccurate, you can’t rely upon the reports generated around the bad data. This is why maintaining high standards of data integrity or quality is vital.

Data Governance – is a closely knitted principle to data integrity that ensures the continuity of data integrity. Data governance is onlyas valid as the integrity of all the data entered into the system well after the MDM solution is in place.

Data Accountability – The data never completely changes. Although, if a company must make some changes to the data, a person should be assignedaccountability in each department to enforce the change. Accountability is essential to safeguard the integrity of data.

Data Auditability – Auditing isn’t the only part of the finance department; it is also a crucial part of the MDM system. It is usually implemented as a follow-up process after making a change. It helps in recognizing the impact of the change.

Benefits of Master Data Management

MDM master data management assists in defining the end-to-end journey of an organization. From data collection to data reconciliation, MDM plays a vital role in every aspect of data management. Therefore the list of MDM benefits include numerous highlights such as –

Accelerated Quality – The master data management tools streamline the data and eliminate all the bad data. Users can work with the improved quality of the data and reuse it freely. 

Cost and Time Efficiency – Without MDM solutions, the companies can’t increase the data’s volume. MDM automates the master data management process which saves lots of time and resources of the business organizations. MDM can significantlyreduce the need for manual labor in the company.

Eliminate Redundancy – Data duplication is one of the major concerns with decentralized data allocation methods. MDM solutions are built on a single data source that can easily solve the problem of duplication.

Enhanced Accuracy – MDM weeds out inconsistencies and repetitions from the data. One discrepancy in the data can affect numerous areas of business. Thus, it is important to eliminate bad data from the very beginning to enhance data accuracy.

Improved Decision Making – Data management offers a holistic vision and centralized control over the data. With the elimination of incomplete data, management can confidently make pivotal business decisions. The quality and effectiveness of decision making can be elevated with MDM.

Comparison Between Top-7 Master Data Management Tools

Master data management software effectively implements the process and facilitates users in performing various operations. In the market, an array of different master data management tools are available, however the Top-7 MDM software applications in Tallgrass research and experience are compared below.

SAP Master Data Governance 

SAP is a consolidated and centralized governance tool that accelerates the consistency and efficiency of information. It is a data management tool for enterprises with a motive to increase accuracy and reduce costing. SAP supports all the leading master data domains and can be deployed on a private cloud or on-premises.

Oracle MDM

Oracle MDM solution adheres to all the commercial users’ needs. The governance and publication of data seamlessly across the internal and external applications with Oracle multidimensional reach are possible.

IBM InfoSphere MDM

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management deals with all the aspects of enterprise data. Usersapplaudthe insightful, actionable, and compliance features of this master data management software. With the hybrid cloud environment, InfoShere MDM orchestrates data throughout its lifespan.


Informatica has been ruling the data management market for 25 years, with 9,500 customers across 82 countries. This MDM cloud-based MDM solution is trusted by Fortune 100 companies as well. This tool supports cloud platform providers, ISVs, system integrators, and more.


According to the Gartner Report, EnterWorks is the management product that comes with a 360-degree analytics strategy. Overall, userscan get everything to create, organize, and distribute data – with this one tool.


With Reltio, userscan experience some dynamic features including sales efficiency, market segmentation, compliance management, customer insights, and communication preferences, etc. It is compact tools for business organizations that offer so much more than data management.

Innovative Systems, Inc. Synchronos

This is an enterprise-level MDM tool to perform operational and analytical tasks. Companies can bypass the extremely large and time-consuming approach with the high tech features of Synchronos. For instant services, userscan trust this tool.


Master data management solutions are one of the integral parts of a modern business organization. Without adequate tools to manage, align, and analyze large volumes of data, no company can make effective data-driven decisions. Regardless of how large or small a business operation you are running, you need to find the right master data management tools to empower your business’s decision-making power.

Don’t be surprised if the best choice might be the one you already have. Keep in mind all MDM technologies never stop evolving, it’s by design that they are rigid enough to establish standard but pliable enough to evolve. It takes a highly functional team to understand the difference. Having decades of enterprise wide experience call on use for an expert third party perspective before you risk your precious time and money!


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