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Let us start with a simple definition of what is Data Governance (DG) and Master Data Management (MDM) before we get into the detail explaining how these two are closely intertwined than before.
The function of Data Governance is to have the information available, usable, secure and reliable for the enterprise use. MDM is a framework with the set of business process and the right technology to have the best version of truth available for the enterprise consumption.
So far via the MDM we have achieved great level of consistency for the enterprise by cleansing the source data, adhering to the enterprise’s list of values, system level trust values, decay period, match, and merge. The final outcome of the MDM has been the “best version of truth” (aka., Golden Record) but lately ONE best version of truth alone doesn’t fulfil all the enterprise needs, in most of the situations there needs to be more than one version of truth depends on the operation that the enterprise engages with that customer to truly achieve the cross-sell, upsell, and even to retain that customer.
Here is an example – A given business customer may want to be addressed with a preferred name for all practical purposes (such as face to face, phone calls, email communication) but for any legal or official communication the organization should address that customer by the official name.
The above scenario shows that there needs to be multiple versions of truth needed within the organization to provide the true customer 360 view. A particular operational value shall be used by the CRM and POS systems (in this case the preferred name) and a different operational value be used by the legal, finance and reporting (formal name) systems. Having these operational values mastered in MDM and having it available for the enterprise use is getting lot more attention than having ONE best version of truth (as we have seen in the traditional style so far).
Data Governance is not only about making sure the information is available usable, secure, and reliable, they also need to define these operational versions (basically multiple truths depending on how we engage/interact with the customer) and have it available for the enterprise use. Managing multiple operational values is lot more complicated than the Single version of truth, where it needs lot of involvement from all the business stakeholders, clear definition of how and what operational values needs to be used for what, and so on…The link between DG and MDM is getting lot more intertwined than before.