Six Steps to MDM Success - Slide 6

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Many may believe that IT/business alignment is so 2010. But in this case, experts offer some very specific recommendations for what that means and what you need to do.

For example, Forrester Research analyst Rob Karel firmly believes the key to alignment is to focus on the business processes, not just with MDM but with any data governance, data quality initiative. In a 2008 interview, Karel explained why that matters and why you should do it before you invest in an MDM solution:

The next step would be to identify which business processes are in the most critical need of master data, and to understand how and why the information in its current state is not meeting end user needs. MDM is a business capability, not just a technology space, and an organization’s MDM strategy must include improvements to the processes and systems that capture and update the raw data, not just the centralized solution that processes the data later. Understanding where changes may need to be made throughout the information supply chain is key to designing an MDM strategy.

How do you identify where the most critical need is? Try a consultant's trick: Listen for key phrases that indicate a need for MDM such as “we really don't know how many customers we have." That suggestion came from Jill Dyché, vice president of DataFlux, Baseline Division, at a recent seminar attended and written about by Rich Murnane for the Data Roundtable.

More organizations are pursuing MDM (master data management). Forrester Research says its client inquiries about MDM have increased 90 percent in the past two years, and by early December of 2010, Gartner had estimated that worldwide MDM software revenue would reach $1.5 billion by year end, a 14 percent increase from 2009.

That's a lot of cash and yet Gartner predicts 66 percent of organizations will find it difficult to demonstrate the business value of MDM.

Could it be that many organizations need MDM but haven't prepared for it?

In this slideshow, Loraine Lawson highlights the steps many MDM practitioners and analysts say you should take before embarking on a master data management initiative.

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