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February 24, 2023

What is Master Data Management? The Foundation of Analytics

App Development & Integration

Analytics and AI are dominating the headlines. But how often is your company examining its Master Data Management (MDM) strategy? Are you utilizing the revolutionary technology that is so plentifully available in this modern age? To truly operationalize the efforts of MDM, and unlock sustainable advantages, requires clean and consistent data. It's not just about pushing data through your company's system; it's about getting the right data to the right people at the right time. The solution to a successful MDM initiative isn't simply the technology or the methodology; it's the people.

MDM helps you turn data into analytics and then analytics into actionable outcomes. This process takes several spreadsheets you may need help understanding and provides a way to analyze and use your data. After all, that's why you gather it, right? However, before embarking on an MDM implementation, there are a few factors you need to consider.

Preparation for MDM Project

Know Your Organizational Goals
Take time to define your goals before moving forward with the project; it will help you prioritize and focus on what's most important.

  • Why do you need an MDM?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What is the current state of your data architecture?
  • What are your options for the future?

Create a Roadmap of Expectations and Define Success
In this step, you want a basic high-level road map; start by answering questions like:

  • What are the main things that need to do?
  • What's the sequencing?
  • What resources do you need?
  • When can you expect to see an ROI?
  • How much is this going to cost?

Defining success may seem obvious, but to get buy-in from your stakeholders, you must set expectations and determine what success looks like and when it will be realized. Planning before you start helps you achieve your ultimate goals more collaboratively.


Have Both an Executive-Level Sponsor and an Application Owner
You will need help with support and momentum throughout the project and to request additional funding or resources.

  • Executive Sponsor: Provides the best chance of being heard and meeting your needs - this person needs to believe in the vision
  • Application Owner: One person has a clearly defined set of responsibilities over the MDM and represents its goals and objectives to anyone who wants to use it

For example, several people and departments may use the MDM and analyze the data provided; similarly, each will have different needs and goals for the information. With one person as the MDM's owner, they can ensure all decisions apply to the company's best interests and that any necessary parties receive all communications.

Establish Any Rules and Regulations
All companies should understand the accessibility and dissemination of information. However, it can change in relevance depending on the type of data your company uses.

  • Who is allowed to access specific data?
  • What data is restricted to certain departments?
  • What information can be posted for the company as a whole?
  • Can any data be made public, or is it all proprietary and for internal use only?

These may seem like questions that you will never have to worry about. Still, it's much better to over prepare for data regulations than deal with an information leak later. 

Once you've prepared for your MDM project, here are some tips to assist with creating and kicking off.


Keys to Success for Your MDM Project

Gaining Stakeholder Alignment
The driving force to implement an MDM solution can come from many parts of the organization. 

  1. Identify all stakeholders across the organization

  2. Listen to their needs, wants, and expectations

  3. Align the outcomes of the MDM project with your company's broader corporate objectives

Stakeholders should see the new MDM project as a means to achieve previously determined goals. They should envision the MDM solution empowering their team to accomplish their goals and freeing up resources to think strategically about the future. If your stakeholders are not with you, the obstacles will be overwhelming. 

Empowered Project Team
The team you have leading this initiative must be enthusiastic and empowered. 

  • Executive sponsor: Aligns on roles, responsibilities, timelines, and goals
  • Project team: Determines how to deliver the project
  • Steering committee: Filters key information to the executive team
  • Executive team: Holds the project team accountable for the goals they set

Accountability is vital in any project. [Read more about accountability in our e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Team Accountability.]

Your team should want to make an MDM strategy. It should also consist of more than just members of the IT department; it should represent every department that creates or consumes data.

Strategically Placed Project Milestones and Benchmarks
Projects can benefit from motivation; quick wins can be crucial to any ultimate victory. Such a sizeable transformational project, like an MDM solution, is built from momentum, and proving the value of the endeavor early on is exceptionally advantageous.

It does not mean that you create easy and meaningless milestones. 

  1. Develop strategic, achievable milestones that showcase the potential and benefits of the MDM system

  2. Create encouraging benchmarks that boost momentum in the project team and stakeholders

  3. Tactically place these benchmarks throughout the project for consistent upward progress   

Collaboration and Frequent Communication
A new MDM strategy must unite your company: CEOs, IT, sales, marketing, accounting, and HR. With that in mind, it's important to consider everyone who the transformation will impact. 

It's also imperative to define the individuals needing access to the data, the frequency of automated reports, and other items relevant to each department. The more you include your team and collaborate with the extended company, the less challenging it will be to get the organization on board. The more people on board with the project, the smoother the transition will be.

Hire an MDM Implementation Firm

You can implement an MDM solution independently, but it's tough. The process will run much more efficiently with experienced help. Of course, you can create your team and build your plan first, but a better idea is to reach out for help with implementation.   

An outside firm offers:

  • A team who can analyze your organization without bias and advise on making your MDM implementation as painless as possible
  • After kicking off the project, your team can focus on running the business without being stretched into areas outside their expertise

An MDM implementation firm will guide you through a tested and proven process, ensuring a smooth and successful implementation. After all, MDM is more than just a project that can be completed and forgotten; it's a new model for operating all aspects of your business. Therefore, you need an MDM to stand the test of time and grow with your company.

Interested in learning more about Master Data Management, download our e-book:

If you want to partner with Aspirant to achieve the most successful Master Data Management implementation possible, fill out the form below.

Sayed is a seasoned technology executive with a distinguished career in design and development of Business Intelligence & Analytics. Over the last 20 + years, he has a proven track record of effective leadership and execution, having implemented end-to-end BI solutions, including data engineering, data visualizations, infrastructure design, and execution for various multinational companies to provide actionable insights, increased resilience, and higher profits.

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