The Basics of Master Data Management (MDM), Part 2

Dec 21, 2021 |
Monica Mullen

Part two of a two-part series.

“What is Master Data Management (MDM)?”

As I explained in my earlier post, this is the question we set out to answer when we launched our Back to Basics webinar series in early 2021. Industry analysts would tell us that their discussions with clients searching for a “single version of truth” kept asking the question, “What is Master Data Management?”

And through 10 different, high-level webinars, we offer the answers to the 10 most commonly questions about mastering data: a Master Data Management 101.

  1. What does a master data management tool do?
  2. How does reference data vary from master data?
  3. Why is it necessary to master customer data?
  4. How does MDM complement a CDP?
  5. What are the trends in master data management?
  6. What are MDM best practices when implementing a solution?
  7. What is master data governance?
  8. What are challenges of supplier data management?
  9. Why is product information management needed?
  10. What should I consider for cloud MDM?

In this post, we’ve collected the highlights from the discussions about the second five questions (you’ll find the highlights from the first 5 questions here):

Episode 6: What are MDM best practices when implementing a solution??

Many organizations, when starting on a master data management initiative for the first time, struggle to know what to prioritize or how to deliver business value. Failure is often blamed on the complexity of the solution.

But there are many factors to consider when implementing a successful master data management solution that are unrelated to the technology selected. There are technical and business design tradeoffs for consistency, quality, and performance. There’s also a need to architect your solution to accommodate changes in business requirements, while designing for what’s currently known and evolving the success criteria for a changing business environment.

In this best practices webinar, the head of Informatica’s advanced customer engineering team, Ron Matusof, shares his knowledge about what works and provides a structured process that ensures a master data solution meets the business requirements.

Episode 7: What is master data governance?

There is data governance and then there is master data governance. The competency of data governance as a discipline involves engaging everyone, connecting data and business, and driving outcomes. Everyone knows what the data is, how it’s to be used, and it supports consistency throughout the organization.

Getting people to agree on the definitions (such as what is a customer?) can be a daunting experience. That simple definition has slowed down many MDM implementations because different areas of an organization may have different ideas about what a customer is. The ability to understand the master data you have, where it is located, and clarifying how it conforms to your definitions and policies is critical for MDM.

A master data governance program enables an organization to easily define, discover, collaborate, protect, and trust its master data to drive business value. In this webinar, I’m joined by Nick Dobbins, Senior Principal MDM architect, to review and step through the 8 pillars of master data governance.

Episode 8: What are challenges of supplier data management?

If you weren’t familiar with the value of a transparent and resilient supply chain before 2020, then you certainly have learned about its importance recently. There have been isolated supply chain issues in the past: for example, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that slowed the automotive industry. For one French automobile manufacturer, the unavailability of a single engine part shut down entire assembly lines.

More recently, the ongoing supplier issues of the past two years and their impact on global supply chain networks, just-in-time inventory levels, changing consumer demand, and ongoing supply chain disruptions make understanding your supply chain more important than ever—and for that, you need to get a handle on your supplier data. The three steps to optimize your supply chain include understanding the pain points within your supply chain, quantifying the costs created by these pain points, and centrally managing your data for better supplier visibility.

In this webinar on customer data management, Courtney Lambert, MDM expert, steps through the importance of mastering supplier data.

Episode 9: Why is product information management needed?

As an online shopper, I’ve grown to appreciate product information management (PIM) and what it can do to help me select the right products, avoiding returns, and other cumbersome shopping hurdles. And I know I’m not the only one.

During the pandemic, the product experience has become even more relevant across all sales channels. Good product information helps shoppers find products they want and builds trust in the companies that sell them. A PIM solution is much like a factory assembly line, but for product data. Just as a supplier provides raw materials to a factory, who then refines them and sells them as finished goods, product content goes through a similar process. PIM should not only create a central repository but should also create an efficient process to get you to a perfect product faster.

Join Jeremy DeFreitas, Product Information Management Expert, in this webinar as he steps through a Product Information Management 101, covering everything from what PIM is to how to select the best solution for your needs. Be sure to stay until the end for a fun surprise about PIM—Jeremy does it all.

Episode 10: What should I consider for cloud MDM?

MDM is a hot topic as more and more companies rely on their data to seek out new opportunities and look to create a single, or best, version of the truth. Cloud MDM implementations are drawing attention as companies look to the simplicity of microservices-based or hosted solutions for their data management needs.

But, as with ice cream flavors, not all flavors of clouds are the same. You need to determine your needs and your wants, what the business is ready for, and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of different cloud architectures. Particularly poignant are the tradeoffs between agility, data access and security, and cost performance. You’ll also need to determine if it’s better to migrate or to modernize.

In this tenth episode of our webinar series, I’m rejoined by Ron Matusof who presents key considerations about moving applications and workloads to the cloud; using ice cream to represent three popular flavors of cloud; and pointing out what you need to look for in terms of readiness before you implement MDM on the cloud.

If you’d like to learn more and explore these topics, I encourage you to register episodes 6 – 10 here and episodes 1-5 here.

We’re looking forward to 2022. We really hope you enjoy these educational webinars—and feel free to share with your colleagues.