Over the next several weeks, we will be covering four aspects of data conversions and migrations that are common sticking points for a project: master data management, re-implementations, acquisitions, and cloud conversions. Our first topic, master data management (MDM), is a foundational requirement for a successful data conversion or migration, yet many organizations don’t have a single point of reference for their critical data. Without a central repository of master data, data quality and governance break down, causing a ripple effect that can tax your resources, blow deadlines, impact decision making capabilities, disrupt operations, create customer service issues, and decelerate growth. Having an MDM strategy in place before you embark on a data conversion or migration can save you from these headaches and make every business and technology decision you make down the road a heck of a lot easier.
Technology and Tools
Naturally, technology and tools play an important role in MDM strategy. Oracle Master Data Management, including the Product Hub, Customer Hub, Supplier Hub and other hubs, is a comprehensive platform that delivers consolidated, consistent, and authoritative master data across the enterprise and distributes this master information to all operational and analytical applications. If you are an Oracle shop, this solution is ideal because it fully integrates with Oracle’s full-stack solution. We have also worked with Informatica MDM, Microsoft’s Azure Data Catalog, and IBM’s InfoSphere and MDM Express and had overall positive experiences. Most of these applications now contain a machine learning component, which will help discover where data is kept and may be able to help you look into the future to determine key data.
The People Part
Technology can’t do everything, and there are three major parts of MDM that require the participation of people:
- Buy-in. As with any project, without the buy-in of stakeholders, your MDM effort will fail. You need commitment from across the organization as well as a framework for change management and data governance to develop and maintain a successful MDM strategy.
- Defining master data. Deciding what data is master data can be a big issue – especially when the data elements have been around for a long time. Technology can be a big help by discovering what data is most frequently accessed, but ultimately the identity of the master data needs to be decided by the business users.
- Policy development and enforcement. As technology changes and data volume grows, you will need to have data governance leaders and policies in place to provide oversight, ensure data quality, and account for process improvements.
The reason we began this data conversions and migrations blog series with master data management is because, without MDM as a foundation, your re-implementation, acquisition, or cloud transformation will experience setbacks that will negatively impact your organization, guaranteed. Avout’s data conversion experts can help you select the proper technology to support your MDM effort and guide you through the process of gaining stakeholder buy-in, prioritizing tasks, developing processes and policies, and educating users for a successful and sustainable MDM strategy.