Master data management, or MDM, is the collection and processing of transferable data, in such a way that multiple versions of duplicate data don’t end up being stored and used in different places. Failure to do this can lead to inconsistencies and variable quality of data, as well as identification, classification, and data-reconciliation problems – especially in large companies.
Master data management goes hand-in-hand with the data cleansing services that we at Enventure Technologies provide. But how does the problem arise in the first place? Well, with the wide diversity of company mergers which occur in larger organizations, it’s all too easy for data to become corrupted. Company growth is often the result of a takeover, merger or acquisition, meaning two master databases – one from each company. Although it sounds an easy process to merge the files and weed out the surplus duplicates (i.e. data cleansing) it’s not always that simple, as databases are often compiled using different applications or systems. The result is that the systems only partially merge, often with inconsistencies between them.
If more company acquisitions then occur, the problem can escalate, until the system becomes unmanageable and unreliable. It’s not unusual to find companies with master databases in double, and even triple figures. Such poorly integrated data can seriously affect company efficiency and customer satisfaction. Cost reduction analysts point to it as being a major cause of lost profits.
MDM requires a multifaceted approach. It may include identification of the source of the problem; collection and normalization of data; error correction and data distribution and storage.