InetSoft Webinar: MDM's Very Clear Mission

This is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "Building a Business Case for Master Data Management." The speaker is Abhishek Gupta, product manager at InetSoft.

MDM has a very clear mission here. Successful efforts at MDM are often about establishing rules and workflow and processes to put in place to resolve inconsistencies across these acquired systems and even use this ability to do the actual consolidation of data sources and applications over time.

The fourth point, and it’s kind of related, is that successful MDM projects, I think support and identify themselves through higher level business initiatives is something that makes it little bit different from IT integration efforts in the past, and these might be efforts such as improving customer satisfaction or improving supply chain performance by reducing shipping errors, something very clearly definable in a business way.

And I think that way also MDM initiatives can show quantifiable success in terms of business.

The fifth success tip would be that I think organizations waste a lot of time over who has the correct data. You see that a lot in terms of meetings, especially if it’s about planning, budgeting, or forecasting efforts, which are typically done even today in personal spreadsheets such as Excel.

MDM can begin to take a prominent hand and make those efforts work off a consistent source of reference definitions.

#1 Ranking: Read how InetSoft was rated #1 for user adoption in G2's user survey-based index Read More

This way when managers collaborate, they can move past the usual data arguments and begin to focus more on the business problems. MDM efforts should look at where the pain is, I think, and where users are really wasting time trying to gather and consolidate information, and it becomes the business users’ ally to getting more productive faster. How much of master data management costs are generally technology related versus people or process related. Are there any guidelines for this?

Well, I think that there are going to be costs related to both, certainly, and I think one thing is that so far we are seeing MDM projects most active in organizations that exceed $10 billion in annual revenue. So really large organizations are taking on this kind of project first, and these organizations generally will have the resources to devote to the effort. And they also have the biggest problems to deal with in terms of being consistent and suffering from low quality information across many divisions.

As I mentioned before, if they have grown through mergers and acquisitions, they are facing a lot of redundancy and inconsistency in their data sources. So they see the need to improve the accountability of information as well and are looking for another way to be serving specific business functions such as finance. And so those specific business functions will be interested in being able to put their own resources into the projects so it’s not just IT standing alone.

Now there are both people and technology issues involved. I would say on the technology side, most data warehousing and integration efforts are not as process-oriented or workflow oriented as the MDM efforts will have to be. So these will have to be extended and looked at again to see if they can really serve an MDM process.

view demo icon
View a 2-minute demonstration of InetSoft's easy, agile, and robust BI software.

And I think the other thing is you have to look at is some of the more discreet issues that are important to address such as data profiling, discovery and other integration tasks that may need new tools to provide a better view of the data and how it should be consolidated. I think ultimately it gets to a point where organizations will want MDM to be comprehensive.

They will want to be able to see really through a work manager and through the suite the entire process that they are looking at, the entire workflow of MDM. They will include profiling and discovery in all these other more discrete tasks, but I think for now it’s important that organizations look at the individual tools that they need and maybe look at it that way.

I think on the people side, as I mentioned before, since business people are critical, you want to get the business and IT people both together in these centers of excellence or advisory councils. And these organizations can then establish incremental benchmarks and deliverables to bring back to the business. And again, this could be related to specific business initiatives such as increasing qualified leads in marketing, or in contact centers, the could be driving greater self-service customer behavior.

Previous: For a Successful MDM Project