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As data becomes the lifeblood of organizations, having a robust Master Data Management (MDM) strategy in place is inevitable. An MDM strategy can not only accelerate product information processes, but it can also improve customer experience and business performance.

Hints to look for

Although having an MDM strategy in place is par for the course now, just creating a master repository or implementing a few data governance policies is no longer sufficient to meet evolving enterprise goals and customer expectations. What is needed is for organizations to constantly upgrade their MDM strategy, so it can keep pace with the overall organizational strategy as well as changing market trends and customer needs. Here are some hints to know if your MDM strategy needs an upgrade:

If you’re not able to integrate data from across the organization

One of the top benefits of an MDM strategy is the consolidation of data from across the organization. However, despite having a strategy in place, if you come across yet another data silo, you will not be able to get access to that data and use it to power your decisions. Poor functional integration can lead to data silos that require constant oversight, integration, and maintenance – adding to the growing list of responsibilities of your data experts as well as the costs to consolidate and manage data.

If you lack data visibility and transparency

With an MDM strategy in place, organizations expect to achieve end-to-end visibility and transparency into data – irrespective of its source, type, or format. But if you find yourself struggling to get the visibility you need – especially from third-party resources and value chain partners, you will not be able to create a consolidated version of the truth that drives transparency, innovation, and growth. This will make it difficult for you to extract unique strategic insights, design better processes, and/or maximize the value of your data assets.

If users are spending too much time finding the data they need

When it comes to offering a spectacular customer experience, it is important for business users to be able to access the data they need. However, if your users are spending too much time finding data, they will resort to using their own resources or methodologies to extract relevant data. Such a non-standard approach to data access can come in the way of enabling fulfilling customer experiences, making it difficult to drive agility for faster outcomes and/or increase operational efficiency.

If you face frequent governance issues

Often, organizations fail to realize that MDM is an enterprise initiative and needs to align with other data management activities such as data quality management and data governance. If MDM activities are isolated within individual departments or business units, it might lead to inconsistencies getting introduced into systems that bypass the master repository. Any misalignment of your MDM strategy with your enterprise data initiatives can lead to failure in capitalizing on existing data management tasks and data governance programs.

If you fail to drive personalization

An MDM strategy that also fails to enable personalization needs to be quickly looked at for an upgrade. Although MDM systems are known to merge and consolidate data from different data sources, IT experts need to constantly update rules and policies to ensure data is always updated, available, secure, and relevant. If the data you have doesn’t provide a detailed picture of what your customers want, you will be unable to drive the personalization that is critical for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Taking a structured approach to upgradation

Organizations looking to drive value from their data across disparate business units, managed within siloed budgets, and governed by distinct divisions need to consider upgrading their MDM strategy on priority.

Upgradation may be the only way to accelerate product information process while improving customer experience and revenue performance. Here’s how you can take a structured approach to MDM strategy upgradation:

  • Evaluate your current MDM strategy and carry out a high-level requirement analysis to identify gaps and challenges.
  • Plan your upgrade by detailing the project scope, carrying out a Proof of Concept, finalizing the tools you need for the upgrade as well as charting out the project plan and timelines.
  • Design your upgrade strategy by listing the functional and technical requirements as well as how you plan to enrich the data model.
  • Develop the new solution by installing the new version, building the new environment, enhancing the GUI, improving workflows, and revising user permissions.
  • Roll out the new solution while planning for downtime, uninstall the old version, and train your users on how to best use the new system.
  • Support the application to efficiently manage all defects and enhance the product to meet the needs of your modern customers.

Enhance data governance and quality

In today’s data-obsessed world, the significance of an MDM strategy is immense. Having a good strategy in place can not only help in taking a customer-centric approach, but it can also help transform the digital future. However, to derive constant value from MDM, you need to make sure it aligns with the new needs of your business and your customers. A carefully considered upgrade strategy can go a long way in proactively identifying and mitigating risks, enhancing operational efficiency, and improving data governance and quality.