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Beyond Traditional MDM: Getting More Out Of Your Master Data

4 Mins read

The pandemic witnessed an explosive acceleration of the digital economy. From retail to entertainment, banking, education, and even healthcare, nearly every sector witnessed the massive adoption of digital channels that helped serve customers even in the strictest of lockdowns and restrictions.

McKinsey suggests that the adoption of digital technologies may have jumped ahead nearly 7 years for several businesses across sectors. As the digital wave continues to gain momentum, businesses of all sizes are racing to offer differentiated experiences to customers that can set them apart in virtual showdowns. One of the key techniques they are looking to rely on to set themselves apart is the data they have at their disposal from across business systems. That said, the growth of data presents problems too. As data proliferates, the need grows to manage it better. Great decisions can only be made on great data. That means special attention must be paid to ensure accurate, unique, updated, and non-duplicated data is always available. In the digital era, hyper-converged experiences and AI-enabled services generate a wider spectrum of information that needs to be managed and organized by MDM solutions.

As data volumes piled up, the need to organize and supply data centrally to all processing and analytical solutions that the business leveraged, enterprises are increasingly relying on Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. Studies estimate that by 2025, there will be a USD 27.9 billion spent globally on MDM. MDM solutions enable enterprise data to be collected, channelized, and unified in a single place so that different business systems can access, process, and modify it securely on a case-by-case basis.

The ability of businesses to evolve from transactional to sustainable long-term relationships with customers depends on how well they can build a reliable 360-degree view of their interests and preferences. This detailed view of the persona of the customer can be leveraged by all departments ranging from marketing to sales, revenue management, customer relationships, and support functions.

Traditional MDM solutions focus on establishing just such a clean single version of the truth as far as data is concerned.

Enterprises looking to adopt MDM need to be conscious of some challenges though.

Scaling up MDM is not easy. The costs involved could also be high. Many MDM solutions end up falling short of delivering the elevated outcomes organizations expect. The current thinking among enterprise CIOs and CTOs is that MDM solutions need to scale up through modernization. The processes associated with managing the master data also need to be refreshed.

Before scaling MDM either by improving their existing solution or opting for a new one, organizations need to define their data management strategies to ensure continuous success.

Let us examine 4 areas of focus for an organization to modernize or transform its MDM strategy:

Process Efficiency

One of the key reasons why several MDM initiatives fail is because the workforce often relies on manually intensive processes and workflows that capture and enter data into the MDM solution. The process happens often via email exchanges or verbal conversations via telephones. As manual operations dominate in the backdrop, a growing volume of errors may crawl into the MDM as data-entry mistakes or missed transactional information, etc. To eliminate them, enterprises need to focus on empowering a digital workforce that leverages automation to eliminate bias, errors, and delayed process bureaucracy.

Governance and Security

Another big gap created by having a manual-centric process and workflow management for MDM is the inefficient governance and audit trail available for review and monitoring. Regulatory and governmental control is tightening in various areas, and this has a direct impact on data management. It is important for organizations to keep a watchful eye over the governance and security elements of their data landscape. Enabling autonomous monitoring and audit trails as a part of the MDM mechanism can ensure the business stays compliant with more ease.

Integration Interoperability

As more sources of data become available to the business over time, it is important to ensure that the MDM solution gains the ability to seamlessly capture all the required data at the right time through easy technology integration with the various data sources. Multiple sources of master data may also need to be integrated with the business ERP. This can further complicate things owing to the complex data transfer and management schemas involved. Enabling API-driven connectivity for data is the best option to ensure that different business systems can plug straight into the MDM solution. This will enable it to collate data over the defined periods as is needed for business operation. It also makes it easier to integrate multiple sources of master data with the business ERP for further validations and rule configurations during operations.

Growth Flexibility

The circumstances that govern business growth figures can be highly dynamic especially in challenging times like the ongoing pandemic. As such the volume of data entering the MDM will fluctuate quite a lot. For instance, the 2021 holiday shopping season represented a dramatic expansion of retail spending. The National Retail Federation estimated that shoppers spent over USD 859 billion, a new record. As such surges arrive, it is important to ensure that the MDM solution the organization chooses is scalable. A scalable mechanism can enable its underlying processes and workflows to cope with the dynamic ramping up or downsizing of data volumes. Having a cloud-based approach to collate and render master data for MDM can be the way to add flexibility to the entire data practice. Configurable workflows can add more reliability and flexibility for the MDM solution and enable seamless growth support for the organization’s data initiatives.

Creating an efficient and error-free master data management environment is now crucial for enterprises to remain sustainable in the market. For this, they need to ensure that their workforce is empowered digitally to eliminate manual management risks and better business adaptability. Get in touch with us to explore more about how our MDM express solution lays the foundation for seamless MDM excellence in your organization. 

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About author
Manish Vanjara is an SAP-certified and experienced SD and Principal of SAP at Groupsoft. Manish is proficient in blueprinting, building, and deploying SAP system master data. Manish has a proven track record in retail, and fashion SAP ECC, and S4 HANA systems with other systems and assisted various large Retail and Fashion Enterprises in documenting business processes, preparing functional specifications, testing, and training.
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