As you can witness, master data management keeps on being a hot trend mentioned in many conversations. Nevertheless, for many people, understanding what master data management really is would be a difficult task. It is rather easy to be overloaded when it comes to making effort to assess different solutions promising to be effective master data management on the market.
As usual, programs designed for master data management start with analyzing available technology and products instead of the right issues that businesses need to solve. If you want to evaluate the tools in order to choose the most suitable option for your company, you had better learn why you are in need of this technology, how you want it to benefit your company, where you are going to begin, who will make use of master data management, how you would deliver the solution and so many other questions to answer. As soon as you are clear about what you do, the process of choosing will be simpler. This article is going to present the ten things you need to prepare your company to adopt master data management.
- Set proper objectives and demands
First and foremost, you should have your own goals. This is what you must do regardless of any technology selection. A right definition of success is necessary in order to avoid problems later. For instance, a company has got a really huge amount of revenue thanks to data master management while their major goal was to evaluate brand profitability accurately so they can structure their brand portfolio better. You should make sure your objectives in order to measure the efficiency of your master data management project.
- Make preparation for business case
Often, the reasons to go with data master management will be narrowed down into two options. Firstly, you suppose that the business value will increase beyond the investment needed to deliver a successful program. Secondly, you make sure that this is a right and necessary choice to start with. Actually, organizations often use both of the above reasons while the second one often comes from entrepreneurs with strong master data management sponsorship from executives.
The main advantages brought by master data management can be listed as operational efficiency, better business intelligence and regulatory compliance.
To be more specific, operational efficiency involves better and more consistent business processes. Some examples are fewer erroneous deliveries, less recovery leading to faster completion and less variation in terms of media, location and so on. Moreover, analytic and business intelligence advancements include more reliable business intelligence, more effective analysis as well as visibility throughout organization, product and so on. Last but not least, compliance advantages are more consistency level and more accurate records.
One tip to achieve those benefits is to estimate the percent of process mistakes because of poor data so that it is possible to measure the savings if the data would be consistent and accurate. Another way is to expose problems due to poor data, which made the business lose opportunities, customers feel disappointed and so on.
- Set up a governance process
In order to maintain a reasonable level of both data quality and consistency, companies have to control their processes in a careful manner. Problems occurring between data from different sources need resolving. Because data will be taken advantage for different purposes and would be shared between many people, it may be impossible for one person to deal with the problem. Instead, the whole company needs to adopt a whole authorization process for many people.
In order to do this, a company leader should get to know who will take the responsibility of the data accuracy and who needs to be engaged in the authorization process.
- Opt for the subject areas that should be attacked first
It is undeniable that most companies hope to control all of their master data. This is, of course, a difficult step. In order to know where you should start and how to improve, you need to evaluate different subject areas in terms of value, complexity and volume.
- Make a data inventory
When you have already set up the most ideal starting point, you should learn where the data is generated and stored. The reason why you should do this is that you will understand the right scale of the problem.
- Identify executive sponsorship
Similar to any cross-organization initiative, executive sponsorship also plays an important role to succeed. In a lot of cases, the beneficiary of an effective master data is not as same as those bearing the cost used to manage it. You would possibly make use of personal review goals, corporate purposes and other cases to make decision. This often asks for executive sponsorship to promote the initiative.
- Make sure business champions
Master data management initiatives close the gap between business and IT companies. In order to be successful, you should not regard master data management as an IT problem. Instead, the most ideal method to bring IT and business closer is identifying and leveraging business people who are considered to be leaders.
Otherwise if you are a business champion, you definitely want to cooperate with someone who is able to help you in terms of IT problems.
- Make an education and advice forum
Similar to many new initiatives, you had better make a preparation for a consistent education program so as to support people to learn why good data is really necessary and how to make a contribution to the success of the project. To start, you should make an introduction or hold training events under the control of industry analysts or consultants. Thanks to this method, people can get to know more about the problems involved and how to get over them.
Last but not least, you should not forget to teach yourself about different products and approaches. This is a necessity for you to succeed. Let’s make use of research avenues such as Webinars.