How Master Data Management Applies to Your Business

by Innovit Corporate Affairs | August 29, 2018 | Blog

Across the country, bad data is an epidemic that costs companies nearly $3 billion a year in lost revenue or missed opportunities. If you’re not managing your data appropriately, you’re going to drop some leads, miss some payments, or even overspend in some corners of your business. Data management can help you to widen your profit margins as much as it can help you turn your slow growth into a boom.

Here is a guide to understanding just what master data is and how it applies to your business model.


Understanding Master Data

Master data is a special classification of data without any particular universal definition. It’s a term for the basic business data that you find used in processes across an organization.

It can refer to the Rolodex of people your company is doing business with, places where you perform your work, or elements of your business. It can be people or it can be warehouses. It can even track the material created during the implementation of your services.

Whatever shape that this data takes, it will reflect the complexity of your process. Even something as simple as purchasing records can reveal a lot about your company. Throughout your organization, departments might look at the same master data differently.

Invoices come in as contacts to the marketing department, raw materials in the production department, and as payouts for the accounting department. Yet it’s all the same data.


So What Is Management of Master Data?

Since this complex data has multiple points, multiple purposes, and multiple potential applications, you need a management process. When organizations want to globalize and centralize their business, this becomes both complicated and a necessity.

While you don’t need to centralize and standardize all of your master data, you might find it unwieldy not do. If you want to govern your data, you need to maintain your data. However, if your organization is small and local, you might not need to. You might know your clients and contacts by name and have a very streamlined process as a cog in a machine.

Data governance should be organized strategically, meaning that when you classify data as global, it will be available to all essential parties. Your data should remain under your ownership no matter what. Even if it’s governed centrally, you should keep the ownership under the guidance of the business.


Starting Off Successfully

In your corporate executive committee, you need at least one person who will provide sponsorship and accountability for your master data management. To get things done at the global level can be challenging and will require assistance.

Beyond that, the entire organization needs to know the value of managing that data. Everyone deserves to know the benefits of data management and how it impacts their corner of the world. Use facts and figures to help share that awareness and argue for why you need support.

Those facts and figures need do more than recursively refer to their own importance. They need to create urgency among your employees. They should show how better management of data, with fewer errors, can improve your businesses impact.

Have separate figures showing how things improve for your employees and how they improve for your clients. Show the importance of avoiding errors through charts and business impact dashboards.


Building On Expertise

There is likely some existing master data management expertise in your organization. Organizing it as a global business service doesn’t require you to have to build everything from the ground up.

There is likely some data management already happening within offices and related to the functions of your business day. That knowledge exists. All you have to do is to tap into it.

After some work, you’ll build a mature and organized global business. With a clearly defined process, your MDM will be sure to be even more success. Nurture new departments and new staff to learn from your existing talent in the realm of master data management.


MDM Has Its Challenges

The structure of your organization might need to change for your data management to be more efficient. This will make a few people have to shift their jobs and rearrange their lives around new expectations. You might even have to outsource some activities.

Having people to fulfill important duties during these transitions is challenging and stressful but offshoring to low-cost countries might be necessary. You need to have a strategy in place before you change your current data management tactics.

Make sure that it’s clear who owns what tasks and who the leaders are during this period. During the setup, they can help to facilitate conversations and discussions to make sure that you nail the landing when all is said and done.

You need to manage your optimism when it comes to figuring out what your outsourcing opportunities will be. It takes some time to build a connection to businesses and you need to look for quality, not just anyone who is available. The distance between you and the company servicing you will change the schedule of your process exponentially.

If you don’t have an MDM process that’s fully matured, giving this work over to places where the labor is cheap might cause greater struggle in the end. They need specialized knowledge to perform some activities.


Data Management is a Skill and an Art

Implementing good data management across your organization needs to not just be a task but rather a force of habit.

When everyone has broad access to all the data that your organization collects, they can make decisions that benefit everyone. The better their decisions are, the higher the growth potential you’ll see year after year.

If you want to know more about how to improve data management in your organization, contact us today!