Monday, January 19, 2015

Digital Master Tuning XV: Who is in the Driver’s Seat for your Master Data Management

The maturity of master data management can well reflect the maturity of the digital organization today.

Data is the raw asset and information is the lifeblood of organizations today. How to manage data right is a fundamental requirement to become a Digital Master, and Master Data management plays an important role in information lifecycle management -"master data management comprises the processes, governance, policies, standards and tools that consistently define and manage the critical data of an organization to provide a single point of reference." But in your organization, who is in the driver’s seat for your Master Data Management?

Business should be the driver for Master Data Management and other IT initiatives, but there needs to be a collaborative partnership between the business and IT teams to effectively implement any technical solution. The coordination and collaboration between business and IT team are the keys to any Master Data Management implementation. Business is driving the requirements to ensure the right data and right process in place. IT is driving the solution that enables and enforces business governance requirements and processes. Otherwise, no matter what solution IT is putting in place, the master data quality is still doomed to the overall project failure.

Undoubtedly business needs should be the driver. The business obviously has the understanding of the data and current processes. IT has an understanding of how to implement - and perhaps an instinctive concept of control of data. However, the business can sometimes be too close to the problem, too parochial perhaps and see Master Data Management as a way of replicating what they currently have (with more quality) rather than an opportunity for business transformation; whilst IT does not have the insight or skills to analyze the business processes. Hence, a project such as Master Data Management requires talent such as business analyst - consultant, implementation expert, Master Data Management expert, call them what you will - who understands the potential of the business of the new technology and can suggest ways of improving process with it, because they understands data and can liaison between the business and technical team members to drive out the business requirements and help the technical team develop the best solution to meet those needs. However, in many organizations, the only time the business has assumed ownership of Master Data Management is when the sponsorship for Master Data Management comes from very senior management and they understand the importance of business ownership. Otherwise, the typical corporate culture and dynamics force Master Data Management to become an IT initiative dooming the program to failure.

Collaboration is the key. No group can do Master Data Management in isolation. The business experiences the problems on a daily basis and needs the help of IT to solve those problems. But IT needs to understand the business issues so they implement the business rules accurately. But in many cases, when companies try to approach it as an IT problem, IT doesn't have the clout to drive the business case and sustain the funding for the Master Data Management program. For example, many times the business, particularly customer service, already has a 'data management' team correcting data and ensuring it is correct. This is managed technically outside IT but the connected IT folks involved in the day to day business operations know they exist. Technically it's master data management. In most organizations, it naturally evolves towards a 'go to' IT person for customer service and a 'go to' customer service rep for data management. If those two people are well connected to each other (And their counterparts across the enterprise) and educated in Master Data Management you get a powerful combination.

The maturity of master data management can well reflect the maturity of the digital organization today, only through cross-functional collaboration and seamless IT/business integration, businesses can manage their data asset to achieve its full potential for business growth and customer satisfaction, and ultimately become a digital master. Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Master are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


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