How to Prepare for a Master Data Management Project
Has your company hosted discussions about your Master Data Management (MDM) strategy? Revolutionary technology is readily available to help make your MDM great, but to get there you need clean and consistent data. You need to be sure to get the right data to the right people at all the right times.
MDM is about turning your data into analytics, and analytics into actionable outcomes to benefit your business. It’s not about having spreadsheet upon spreadsheet of data that nobody uses or understands.
If you’re considering an MDM implementation there are a few things you need to do to prepare.
Know Your Organizational Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with an MDM? Don’t just do it because it is the popular trend. Know why you need it and how you expect your business to benefit. Be informed on the state of your current data architecture and your options for the future. Define the goals you want to achieve before you get started. This way you know where your focus needs to be.
Define Expectations and Success
This is not exactly a project plan, but more of a road map to success. Instead of breaking down individual steps and assigning tasks, you will be listing the main high-level things that need to be done. You’re setting the chronology of items. Use this to define and acquire the necessary resources. You also want to give a timeline for ROI and a reliable cost estimate.
It may seem like a difficult exercise to officially define success, but it makes it much easier to get buy-in from stakeholders as well as keep yourself on task. Setting expectations helps keep everyone on the same page for the project so you can collaboratively meet your goals.
Have an Executive-Level Sponsor and an Application Owner
Throughout the life of the project you will need support, help with momentum and possibly additional funding and resources. An executive sponsor who believes in the project vision will help your voice be heard. This is a very vital role to fill.
The application owner is also very important. This is not the person who knows and runs everything or operates the actual system. The application owner is a defined responsibility to keep on top of the MDM and help make sure all decisions are relevant and communicated. This prevents the issue of multiple people assuming “someone else” is handling a task.
Every department should have a need to utilizing the MDM, and they will each have different uses and objectives for the information they request. If everyone is allowed to make changes to the way data is defined or collected, the MDM will quickly become unmanageable and unhelpful to your organization.
An application owner can make sure all decisions that move forward contribute to the best interests of the whole company as well as make sure that all changes are communicated.
Establish Rules and Regulations
This is always an important step. The detail needed can change depending on the type of data your company utilizes. A legal team for example is going to have much stricter rules and regulations than a company that sells homemade candles.
However, all companies need an understanding and control of the accessibility and distribution of their information. This should all be pre-defined to avoid any complications in the future. Define who is allowed to access what data. Which data is specific to certain departments? What can be shared with the company as a whole? Can any of your company data be made public or is everything proprietary and for internal use?
Even though some of this information may seem like overkill, it’s much preferable to over regulate data than deal with the ramifications of an information leak in the future.
For more information about MDM check out our Ebook.
If you’ve read through this and are considering moving forward with your own MDM project connect with us here at Aspirant for help.
Phil is Aspirant's Technology Director with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.