Master data management - An overview.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

From mobile telephony to web, counter sales to call centre, you find application & system to support customer & sales. However, this might keep creating discrete system, if there is no one source for master data. The new buzzword in IT industry is MDM, Let's briefly look as why MDM (Master data management) have become significant these days.

An enterprise normally tend to use many IT solution & application, to maximize its product reach & access to the market.

All transactions revolves around master data. The master data mean the operation data like customer, product, account head. Any business entity have to manage this master data effieciently without any redundancy to be effectively planning,execution & reporting.

First place, if one looks at possible causes of redundancy of data.

i. Mergers & acquisition: Quite a common cause, two similar companies in a specific industry vertical could be merged or one acquire the other. Naturally, they might have multiple system, where same customer is are available or a product might be called X in one system and the product with same attributes might be called as 'Y", which results in duplication and confusion.

ii. For orderbooking a company could use self serviceweb application or order entry through manual intervention or through mobile application, hence in this case, customer base name could vary if the two system uses different Database / master data.

iii. Though these days single instance ERP are used by multinational companies. There could be a situation when multiple instance are required due to some statutory needs of the country or due to time zone.

Fragmented inconsistent data on product, customers slows time-to-market, creates supply chain inefficiencies, results in weaker than expected market penetration, and drives up the cost of compliance. Fragmented inconsistent Customer data hides revenue recognition due for the customer, introduces risk, creates sales inefficiencies, and results in misguided marketing campaigns and lost customer loyalty. Fragmented and inconsistent Supplier data reduces supply chain efficiencies, negatively impacts spend control initiatives, and increases the risk of supplier exceptions. This might also cause failure in usage of business intelligence or data warehouse reporting system.

“Product”, “Customer” , “Supplier” and even "account head" are key business entities which are refered as Master Data.

Due to all the above, there is an increase need felt towards maintaining the master data across the organization. Hence, in the last few years, software vendors have come out with tools and techniques to maintain the master data across organization.

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