Master data management (MDM) is 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.
MDM solutions comprise a broad range of data cleansing, transformation, and integration practices. As data sources are added to the system, MDM initiates processes to identify, collect, transform, and repair data. Once the data meets the quality thresholds, schemas and taxonomies are created to help maintain a high-quality master reference. Organizations using MDM enjoy peace of mind that data throughout the enterprise is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent.
By providing one point of reference for critical information, MDM eliminates costly redundancies that occur when organizations rely upon multiple, conflicting sources of information. For example, MDM can make sure that when customer contact information changes, the organization will not attempt sales or marketing outreach using both the old and new information. Having multiple sources of information is a widespread problem, especially in large organizations, and the associated costs can be very high.
MDM is of particular interest to large organizations, highly data distributed organizations, and those that have frequent or large-scale merger and acquisition activity. Acquiring another company creates wide-reaching data integration challenges that MDM is designed to mitigate. Thus, MDM can accelerate the time-to-value from an acquisition.
MDM also helps companies with segmented product lines, preventing disintegrated customer experiences.