Greg Todd: Reaping the benefits of MDM

Many organisations, hampered by misconceptions of complexity, have been slow to capitalise on the underpinning qualities of master data management. In a 2007 Accenture survey, 34 per cent of respondents said they do not manage master data much beyond individual systems.

However, 98 per cent of respondents expressed the need to have, at a minimum, an organised master data management and sharing programme in place for key data.

In seeking value, many large organisations with multiple lines of business have taken the route recommended by solution providers and product vendors. This has often failed to produce effective results, possibly due to a “silver bullet” mentality that was unlikely to ever reap rewards.

Other organisations, uncertain where to begin, may have dabbled with a single master data attribute (such as customer data), but become disheartened that the benefits appeared to dwindle in the mid to long-term. Unsurprisingly, the true benefits are to be found when two or more attributes are combined, for example, when customer data is aligned with product information, or when product data is aligned with vendor information.

We believe it’s better late than never for MDM. In our experience, just as you can not build a house without a foundation, so master data management is a vital component of effective information management strategy. MDM provides a “single source of the truth,” enabled through business process management and data quality tools and technologies, to realise untold value.

Effective MDM uses fewer resources, centralizes data, improves customer experiences and increases efficiencies to enable long-term success and growth. It can positively benefit your ability to accelerate more utile, flexible systems such as embracing a systems-oriented architecture approach.

Fuelled by the current market climate, we are seeing MDM come to the forefront for both the business and IT. It is not a quick-fix or another application to maintain. MDM is often viewed as one of the top priorities for organisations trying to improve their operational efficiencies and is the cornerstone for strong data management.

Greg Todd
Global lead
Accenture Information Management Services

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