To Master Master Data Management, Master these Five Enemies

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According to the great general Sun Tzu, The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

The same is true when implementing Master Data Management (MDM). Much is known about all the things that can go wrong, your MDM implementation team’s enemies so to speak. Sun Tzu would advise you to build a plan to defeat these enemies so you can realize MDM’s business value and benefits at your organization.

This blog identifies five typical enemies on your path to MDM success and provides ways to make your position unassailable and their defeat inevitable.

1. Insufficient business engagement: If your business users lack understanding of MDM in general, are not involved in your MDM strategy and plans, or are called into the effort too late, you will not get the resources and expertise you need for MDM success. To help get your business users on board, look for MDM platforms that provide business user interfaces and workflows that make it easy for business users to get involved, rather than ones that focus only on your technical teams.

2. Failure to balance short term and long: Enterprise-scale MDM adoption is a multi-year journey, not a one time event. For best success, start your MDM program by focusing on immediate needs. This will deliver rapid payback on your MDM investments, as you build your skills. Over time you can expand your MDM use to more domains and eventually reach enterprise scale. To help you throughout your long journey, look for flexible multi-domain, multi-style MDM platforms such as TIBCO EBX™Software, with proven enterprise-scale references.

3. Underestimating data engineering workloads: Every MDM project requires that you understand, access, and integrate your source data in some way. This can be especially challenging in today’s distributed data landscapes where your data spans many repositories, both on-premises and in the cloud. To address this challenge, complement your primary MDM platform with a portfolio of agile data integration solutions, such as TIBCO® Data Virtualization, and holistic metadata management solutions, such as TIBCO Cloud™ Metadata.

4. Poor data quality: MDM projects force you to drill down into your data and will, as a result, uncover many data quality challenges. Keep in mind that the only data quality that matters is the data quality that impacts your business. Rather than striving for perfection, aim for the degree of data efficacy that helps your business succeed. In my blog, “To Improve Data Quality, Stop Playing the Data Telephone Game,” I identify three techniques you can use to improve your data quality in a timely and cost-effective manner.

5. Misfiring on compliance: Master data about your customers, employees, products, and more are critical components in your compliance auditing and reporting. Failure here is not an option. And collaboration is key. Bring together your:
• Business Users who understand regulatory requirements
• Data Engineers who can translate these requirements into master data assets
• Data Stewards who can establish the ongoing governance you need to ensure you continue to comply as your business and regulations change.

More information about TIBCO EBX, TIBCO’s master and reference data management platform.

Robert Eve is Senior Director of Data Management Thought Leadership at TIBCO Software.