What is Master Data Management?
Master data management refers to the processes governing how information is gathered, evaluated, and integrated into a single point of reference. The goal of master data management is to make data easily accessible to all software platforms and applications across the entire business. MDM strategies are usually designed and implemented by the technology or analytics departments, but all stakeholders ought to be familiar with its essential components:
- Clean data: Information should be easy to access and understand, regardless of the source. Incomplete records or duplicate files slow things down.
- Consistent data: Data gathered by one system must be able to flow freely into others. Files should use the same fields or parameters to make sure they don’t isolate applications from the wider data ecosystem.
- Rich data: Appending information gathered from third-party sources enriches data and makes it more valuable to end-users, including the sales and marketing departments.
- Unified data: Master data should live in a single source that’s accessible to each business tool.
Everyone has a role to play in making sure the business’s master data management strategy succeeds. Salespeople building leads lists should follow guidelines so that contact records are complete. Marketers running campaigns need to consider how metrics are tracked and ingested so that results can be included in existing reports or programs. C-suite executives who are familiar with the MDM strategy will be better positioned to interpret results and spot errors. In short, master data management isn’t just a concern for data scientists – it’s a process that needs to be understood by each player.
Master Data Management and Marketing
Marketers are expected to base their decisions on sound data, and a robust MDM strategy is critical to achieving this. Comparing data from multiple analytics and CRM tools increases the chance that mistakes will be made, such as double-counting website visitors or failing to collect consistent contact information. These errors and oversights ultimately lead to less useful data and uncomfortable questions from management. What’s needed is a single source of truth – master data.
Master Data Management Concerns
MDM strategies need certain elements to succeed:
- Accurate, timely information. Data quality affects everything that comes after.
- Easy data integration. The ability to gather information, address discrepancies, and distribute information to all programs.
- Buy-in from across the business. Stakeholders must follow guidelines and ensure that future initiatives do, as well.
Businesses will take different approaches to MDM implementation, but all are working towards the same goal: creating a single location to store accurate data that’s easily accessible to all interested parties.