Most large enterprises have a heterogeneous application portfolio, with fragments of often inaccurate, incomplete and inconsistent data residing in various application silos. Companies wanting a consistent view of their customer base often struggle to reconcile data across numerous operational systems. These issues cause intelligent decision making to be difficult. The heart of these problems lies in the handling of shared data.
Master Data Management (MDM) is a comprehensive method of enabling an enterprise to link all of its critical data to one "master file" that provides a common point of interest. Examples of master data include customer, product, asset, location, employee, organizational unit. Data that is not shared between functions within an organization is not master data.
MDM has emerged as a means to more efficiently manage shared data, eliminate redundancy, and create the elusive "single version of the truth". Unlike most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems which are often monolithic, expensive and rigid, MDM is able to offer both consistency and agility, therefore providing a major competitive advantage and return on investment (ROI).
As businesses strive to dramatically reduce costs, meet compliance reporting mandates, deliver increased sales, and provide superior service to customers and suppliers, analysts have declared MDM as a solution which will significantly contribute to these business priorities.