Master data is the consistent core data at the heart of an organization. It includes customers, vendors, products, materials, employees and locations. Because these are the elements of doing business, all of an enterprise’s systems must have consistent data about these groups. If different systems use different terms or produce different results, executives and employees will struggle to trust their data and decisions.
Master data management (MDM) is particularly important in today’s global business landscape, where one version of the truth must exist across an organization’s many far-flung locations. Multinational organizations need to de-clutter the complexity of fragmented and inconsistent master data to grease the wheels of an extended, global machine. The implications extend beyond an organization’s offices. Data inaccuracy has repercussions across the value chain, affecting suppliers, trading partners and, ultimately, customers.
700-apps believes that a superior MDM capability is a key driver of high performance. Our ongoing High-Performance Business research initiative suggests that top organizations across all industries are particularly adept at establishing a single source of the truth that, in turn, informs processes and decision making, drives competitive advantage and allows organizations to pursue strategic initiatives with greater confidence.
MDM supports an enterprise-wide information management strategy and delivers a host of immediate benefits. Organizations can lower costs by eliminating data duplications, reconciliation activities and redundant software and hardware expenses. MDM can also boost revenue by improving forecasting and system availability, enabling greater process automation, speeding data exchange and enhancing the accuracy of reports. Finally, data quality efforts lead to other quality-related improvements across the organization, including better, faster decision making and more effective performance management.