Master data management is often approached as a data quality and/or a data governance initiative - which makes sense given that it's supposed to serve as a central record for whatever master data you've chosen to target.
But how to achieve those goals isn't as simple as just installing an MDM hub, as Semarchy's blog post, "The Successful Adoption Cycle of an MDM Project," points out. Deploy MDM at the wrong point or move your data prematurely, and you could create a significant amount of trouble for yourself. As the post points out, there are four styles of deploying MDM for multi-domain alone, and you'll need to consider how that can impact your efforts at governance:
A sales representative receives an order from a customer and a contact that do not exist yet in the ERP application. Can you imagine this sales representative calling a different team-the MDM Data Governance Team-and asking for the new customer and contact to be created in the MDM central repository? This sales representative would wait for another two to four hours for the new customer to show up in his ERP before being able to enter his order? We all agree that it is not acceptable or realistic.
So, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about MDM, depending what you want to achieve.
If you'd like to learn more about how to deploy MDM to achieve your governance and data quality goals, you should register for an upcoming Briefing Room event, "Convergence: The Nexus of Data and Process with MDM." It's scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 3 p.m. CST, and will feature Rick Sherman, head of Athena IT Consulting, which specializes in BI, data integration and data warehouses.
Sherman will explain how you can most effectively deploy MDM to achieve your data quality, governance and other goals. In particular, he'll discuss how MDM fits in with a service-oriented architecture. I suspect this will be an acronym-heavy discussion, since he also plans to talk about the role of an enterprise service bus (ESB) in all this.
Vincent Lam and Jake Freivald of Information Buildings are also on the agenda to explain how their solutions fit into an information architecture. Bloor Group CEO Eric Kavanagh hosts Briefing Room events, which are free webinars.
If you're completely unsure where to start with MDM and legacy data, check out TechTarget's step-by-step manual on building an MDM hub. It's a good introduction to the process, and written by Rajesh Parameswaran, a BI consultant who specializes in data mining and MDM. Parameswaran recommends you reconcile and cleanse the data in a staging area before moving the master data to the MDM registry or hub.