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What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

By   /  September 18, 2017  /  No Comments

Master Data ManagementMaster Data Management (MDM), “Entails control over Master Data values and identifiers that enable consistent use, across systems, of the most accurate and timely data about essential business entities.”

According to the Beginners Guide to Master Data Management (MDM):

“Underpinning MDM is the need for an effective data quality management strategy and appropriate toolset. With so many organisations dipping their toes into the choppy waters of MDM we thought it high time to provide an overview for those getting started or wanting to learn more.”

While Donna Burbank of Global Data Strategy says that:

“Master Data Management (MDM) can help build this 360 degree view of key business information to allow you to take full advantage of your organization’s data for better business outcomes.”

Other definitions of Master Data Management include:

  • “A technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets.” (Gartner IT Glossary)
  • “Feeding an enterprise’s bigger objectives of “helping customers fulfill their centralized customer-view need for various types of applications and specific business purposes.” (Jennifer Zaino)
  • “MDM is not an easy sell. As an ‘enabler’, MDM is like the supplier or distributor of the raw materials that went into an end-product you purchased.  If you’re satisfied, you think of the manufacturer who assembled it and placed their label on the product and not any of those companies who supplied and distributed its components.” (Frank Cerwin)
  • “A category of software infrastructure that operationalizes the acquisition, distribution and management of core data entities, including customers, products, and suppliers.” (Forrester)
  • “As more and more organizations struggle with obtaining a single, consistent view of core data such as Product, Customer, Vendor, and Location data, Master Data Management (MDM) is seeing a rise in implementation. Master Data Management is closely linked to other key initiatives..such as Data Governance and Data Quality, but is a practice in and of itself made up of diverse activities such as matching rules, golden record survivorship rules, and data migration and/or virtualization.” (Donna Burbank & Charles Roe)
  • “The effort made by an organization to create one single master reference source for all critical business data, leading to fewer errors and less redundancy in business processes.” (Informatica)
  • “Master Data Management (MDM) provides a way to link all of that information into one big master file. If done right, this file not only provides all users with a common reference point, but it streamlines the process of sharing data among all departments and personnel.” (Jeff Shortis)
  • “IT’s role in responsible managing business-critical information —master data—to reasonable quality and reliability standards.” (Joe Bugajski, MIT)

A few uses of Master Data Management are:

  • Reconcile between diverse ways to represent similar concepts.
  • Meeting organizational data requirements.
  • Manage Data Quality.
  • Manage the costs of data integration.
  • Reduce risk.
  • Eliminating costly redundancies.


Photo Credit: Profit_Image /Shutterstock.com

About the author

Michelle Knight enjoys putting her information specialist background to use by writing technical articles on enhancing Data Quality, lending to useful information. Michelle has written articles on W3C validator for SiteProNews, SEO competitive analysis for the SLA (Special Libraries Association), Search Engine alternatives to Google, for the Business Information Alert, and Introductions on the Semantic Web, HTML 5, and Agile, Seabourne INC LLC, through AboutUs.com. She has worked as a software tester, a researcher, and a librarian. She has over five years of experience, contracting as a quality assurance engineer at a variety of organizations including Intel, Cigna, and Umpqua Bank. During that time Michelle used HTML, XML, and SQL to verify software behavior through databases Michelle graduated, from Simmons College, with a Masters in Library and Information with an Outstanding Information Science Student Award from the ASIST (The American Society for Information Science and Technology) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College. Michelle has a talent for digging into data, a natural eye for detail, and an abounding curiosity about finding and using data effectively.

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