What is Master Data Management in 2015?

businessman-1241110-639x852 Big data plays a key role in the operations of many of today’s organizations. Efficiently managing that data and having a structured system in place keeps an organization running smoothly, maximizes security and prevents miscommunications between different parties. Accordingly, more and more organizations are implementing master data management to streamline the way they store and share data. Let’s now get into the nuts and bolts of this system and discuss the advantages it offers.

Formal Definition

Tech Target defines master data management as “a comprehensive method of enabling an enterprise to link to all of its critical data to one file, called a master file that provides a common point of reference.” In other words, individuals within an organization can conveniently store and share information in a centralized repository. When a master data management tool is utilized, it allows an organization to standardize its data, prevent duplicates and create a framework, which greatly reduces discrepancies.

Regardless of the number of departments and size of a workforce, master data management ensures a certain level of consistency and creates cohesion so everyone can stay on the same page with one another.

An Example

Although master data management can encompass a wide variety of processes, let’s take a look at a simplistic example to gain a better grasp on the concept. Most businesses have a large list of contacts that must be effectively managed across various departments. In the past, a business may run into a plethora of problems including different departments entering in the same contact which create duplicates, having inconsistent formatting of addresses and phone numbers, etc.

examination-1431866-639x852 But by using a master data management tool, a business could ensure that duplicate contacts are never entered because it would automatically check the existing contact base. It would also create a standardized format so that addresses and phone numbers are all formatted the exact same way.

Why is this Beneficial?

While the initial implementation of master data management can be somewhat arduous, there are several long-term advantages. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that it creates a centralized data repository where information can be better managed. In turn, this ensures that the data that various departments access is both complete and accurate. Not only does this make the lives of personnel easier, it tends to lead to a better customer/client experience as well.

Some other major benefits include the following:

  • Data is more authoritative and dependable
  • Data is available on multiple platforms, which is incredibly important in 2015
  • It’s helpful when sending marketing materials because you won’t send multiple pieces of literature to the same customer/client
  • It often makes an organization more efficient and productive

It’s also important to note that the larger an organization is, the more useful master data management tends to be. While it may be overkill for a small business with minimal data, it can be a major asset to a large company with mountains of data. The bottom line is that when used correctly, this system can transform the way an organization collects, stores and shares data and can have a positive impact on multiple areas of operation.