If you see Master Data Management (MDM) as a major new ongoing Process in your business then you are on the wrong track!
Successful MDM should be invisible.
It should happen automatically as a part of doing business day-to-day.
I was prompted to write this post after I made two tweets that might seem slightly (or totally) off the wall to some people. These were:
Making MDM a separate business activity and process is as crazy as making Quality a separate activity and process – yet it happens!
If your MDM is not an integrated part of all systems and processes you’re creating a monster that will devour the enterprise.
I made these posts because from my recent readings on the web there seems to be an emerging (and crazy) trend to turn MDM into a major industry. This is wrong.
Project Not Process
If your Master Data Entities are currently unknown, unmapped and unmanaged, then you will need to set up and carry out a project to set this right. However, being a project, this will have a beginning, middle and, most importantly, an END!
Once the MDM Project is completed (and this should take months, not years) Master Data Management should require no ongoing effort in the business. All of you Master Data Entities should be fully maintained and managed by carrying out the day-to-day Business Functions of the enterprise.
Unsurprisingly, the greatest advocates for this flawed approach are the vendors of so-called ‘MDM Software’, who stand to gain a great deal from the establishment of an MDM Industry.
Would such an artificial industry benefit businesses? Absolutely not!
No more than the artificial downstream Data Quality industry created by ‘Data Quality’ software vendors benefits businesses.
Buoyancy Beats Bailing Buckets
The trouble with many (though not all) of the creators and purveyors of this type of software application is that they have a vested interested in perpetrating the bad practices in business that create data of low quality and unmanaged Master Data Entities.
These are what I term “Bailing Bucket Salesman”. Your MDM boat might be leaky and sinking but fear not, the men with the magic bailing buckets are on hand to bail you out – at a price. Many businesses get seduced by the apparent power of these applications; the price does not seem too exorbitant and, more importantly it seems, it does not require anyone in the enterprise to look for a lasting solution.
What many businesses fail to see is that while they are busy bailing they are not on course and sailing (could not resist that, almost, poetic analogy) and that the real cost to their business is far more than the cost of the software and consultancy fees.
MDM is Effortless
Once they are established in the business, effective Data Quality and Master Data Management should, like Quality, be quite effortless and happen as a byproduct of doing business day-to-day.
Taking a structured, proactive approach is to MDM makes this possible.
MDM Webinar & Course
I will be running a Webinar in the near future that will describe what these techniques are an why they work.
I will also be launching an online MDM course that will describe in detail how to implement them.
If you are interested in attending this FREE Webinar or would like to find out more about the course, then please leave a comment in the Reply Box below.