Master Data Management Essay

Master Data Management

Nowadays the role of computer and information technologies is swiftly increasing as more and more businesses, companies and organization tend to install properly functioning software to make data management faster and easier. Many organizations are experiencing problems with data management and, therefore, they are highly interested in Service-Oriented Architecture and Master Data Management (MDM). Business competitiveness and agility often depends on company’s ability to provide consistent data and information management. According to official business statistics, many companies are suffering from the problem that information and data about particular customer or product appear in multiple systems and in multiple formats within organization. (Computer Weekly, 2007)

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The company I am working on suffers from such problem as well as it has many customer and product lists and sometimes they are confusing. As it is noted, “this undermines reporting initiatives and can seriously impede managers’ efforts to make sound strategic decisions”. (Computer Weekly, 2007) Partly, lack of proper technology investment can be blamed for, but, in most cases, organizations spend millions of dollars on resources planning, resource allocation, human resource, but they simply neglect providing consistent data a management which offers a number of benefits. (Computer Weekly, 2007)

Actually, I would definitely recommend every company to use Master Data Management which will improve data consistency, transparency and accuracy across company’s divisions and systems. MDM can be used to identify and to manage complex net of relations between disparate data elements. In other words, MDM is a practice which puts everything on its places and, therefore, it would be very effective in the company I am working on. In professional sphere, Master Data Management is defined as “the technology, tools, and processes required to create and maintain consistent and accurate lists of master data”. (Wolter & Haselden, 2006) MDM aims at creating lists which will be used and shared by several applications at the same time. For example, it is possible to have Account Master, Item Master and Customer Master at the same time. I think that MDM is one of the keys to company’s success and competitiveness in highly tough business environment.

MDM can be used for a number of purposes in my company. For example, it can be used for ensuring that customers’ addresses and names are properly entered, and they are consistent across the company as the company uses customer names and addresses their databases. MDM populates all applications and acts as a central repository assisting in elimination of easy mistakes which may lead to serious financial looses. It helps to demonstrate importance of data quality in business environment where private information should be secure and properly managed. Actually, it is a bet of company’s reputation, credibility and future success. For example, it is mentioned that “Xerox Europe, meanwhile, is using MDM to standardise data held by each of its 16 in-country operations before loading the data into a single instance of SAP”. (Computer Weekly, 2007) Even in the most developed countries more than 10% of data is claimed to be duplicated, whereas in less developed countries the percent of duplication exceeds 30%.

Therefore, MDM should be used to control centrally identification of suppliers, brands, customers, and financial indicators in real-time. MDM ensures technical integration architecture which will effectively check and revise data. The central task is to ensure that data about suppliers, customers, employees and products is consistent and accurate across organization. For my company MDM is an appealing prospect because data management is of top priority for many customers and suppliers. MDM offers customer data integration which consists of transactional customer hubs. MDM sets the task to collect customer data from disparate elements of systems and webs. Then, MDM consolidates and standardize obtained data and produces a single view. The most convenient thing is that it can be synchronized across organization. MDM is able to provide organization with data models, workflows, integration capabilities and business rules. All these elements are necessary for supporting organizational internal products and external supply chain data. (Computer Weekly, 2007)

The next moment to admit is that MDM can be used for standardizing, cataloguing and synchronizing data about customers and suppliers from disparate systems. MDM is limited to product data and it doesn’t support critical data domains. Nevertheless, it offers highly professional products as Oracel, GXS, i2 Technologies and Tibco.  In some companies Tibco is used for standardizing data, creating menu items and calculating supplies across the networks. MDM offers also niche products that “offer a solution to one of more components of the MDM core, but do not have the same breadth as a typical customer data integration or product information management supplier”. (Computer Weekly, 2007)

MDM designers claim that ability to deliver data-quality profiling is the most essential component of master data management as it is responsible for matching, standardizing, enriching and merging logic operations. I think that in my company such tools as model management, workflow and hierarchy management will be highly appreciates as the processes of customer data integration, data quality products and product information management will be significantly improved and updated.

MDM should be used in my company to prevent errors in master data, as well as to prevent errors in all applications. Actually, the only incorrect address or customer’s name in master da5amay result in wrong deliver of information, bills, orders and advertising booklets. The same situation is with incorrect prices in master data which may lead to marketing disaster, incorrect account number may result in huge fines and law problems for CEO. It would be the end of professional career. Further, Social Security number can be used for customer identifier, “discovering which customer records are for the same customer is a straightforward issue; but that seldom happens”. (Wolter & Haselden, 2006)

MDM assigns customer number and creates master records. Therefore, the chance of data duplication is pretty remote.  It is hard to reconcile item masters, even when equivalent parts are bought from different vendor numbers. Summing up all above information, Master Data Management can be used in my company for a number of reasons and ways. The positive benefits of using MDM are the following:

·         MDM ensures consolidated and single customer view, bill saves money;

·         MDM improves customer satisfaction;

·         MDM delivers new marketing literature to customers avoiding sending the same booklets as it irritates customers;

·         MDM checks, standardizes and controls centrally data on customers, suppliers, employees, etc.;

·         MDM stocks the same item under the same part number and it prevents duplication.

Master Data Management is the most effective way of data management in every company as it can be applied to all master data within organization. MDM aims at decreasing the risk of data duplication and prevents the risk of expense of an enterprise-wide effort. Nevertheless, MDM will be successful in case of support and participation of company users.

References

Master Data Management. (2007). Computer Weekly, Reed Business Information UK, Ltd.

Wolter, R., & Haselden, K. (2006). The What, Why, and How of Master Data Management. Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb190163.aspx

Master Data Management. (2007). Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/mdm/default.mspx

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