Synopps company specialists share their views on methods to a better master data governance that facilitates business growth and helps increase profitability. Here are six top advises based on our experience of serving global corporations from various business segments, primarily industrial ones. Don’t be surprised they are less about techniques, but more about management and psychology.
Think Business, Not Technology
Master data management seems to be an IT task. Smart boys from a world of computer science and hi-tech terms unclear to most people just should do their secret manipulations and records will flow without barriers in a clear and proper way. This image could be right ten or even twenty years ago. But not now.
In our times, MDM is not a purely technical thing like access to the Internet or cloud storage, it’s part of an overall corporate strategy. The reason for which things have changed is a rise of software that helps manage businesses, create new products and digitalize processes previously thought to be offline only. Data is the core of business, that’s why building out a comprehensive MDM strategy is exactly the same practice as an HR or product strategy. An hierarchy of master data, architecture of data systems reflect a company’s business vision and needs. If not, it doesn’t work.
Involve, Listen, Act
As a consequence from the first point, you should get all stakeholders involved. The stakeholders are all departments of an organization and specialists who handle data. Keep in mind that all rules and procedures are obeyed (or not obeyed) by people, and the success of any strategy. Moreover, people are the first and the most reliable source of information about how they process records, what they need and what’s the best way to organize their work so that master data could yield the best outcome.
Choosing The Best Tool On Market
MDM solutions abound. They all are different, though you may think they are the same or at least alike. That’s not so even in case of similar functionality as they range in quality, price, maintenance. The best approach here is a purchase of not a technical feature, but a business solution. We mean your navigation star should be your strategy, not the price or an innovation the solution offers. Remember the advice №1 from our list.
Another important note refers to the selection of a team of external consultants that is hired for the implementation of an MDM strategy in your company. You should pay attention to a comprehensive approach the team uses or doesn’t use. A broad-based, holistic solution is the cornerstone of master data management.
Clean And Streamline Data
It’s a thing that’s done always before or along with building a data system architecture like a dentist cleans your teeth prior to doing all these scary manipulations. So we would not even mention this, but we do it as that’s not such an obvious operation for those who purchase MDM solutions or consultancy for the first time.
Data cleansing is an operation of identification and removal of duplicates as well as handling incomplete, redundant, and incorrect data. Imagine 50 books in a library, but all in different states. Some books are new, some are obsolete, some have enough pages, some have only half. From all this stock you make one right book and, if necessary, repair the rest and eliminate what you think is excessive. You end up with just 10 books, all in the right shape and all are identical. So that’s how company’s records look after they have been cleansed.
Building Data Architecture — Your Needs First
There are typical MDM architectures like typical CRMs or ERPs systems. No secret there is a temptation to take a popular product or a solution that proved to be effective in another organization and use it so that time and money could be saved. Well, it will not save neither time nor money. Every organization has its own structure. Even if structures are alike, business goals do differ as well as other important components of business like — staff, locations of offices, turnovers, customers. No identical data architectures exist. Take time to pour resources into building your own, the one that could meet corporate needs the best.
Access Control Is Not Formality
Every management level and every position in a company has certain rights for accessing and processing information. This is a norm that allows for the prevention of wrong decisions. It also gives information on who, what and when did with records.
When assigning roles, keep in mind a trend of increasing number of personal data breaches and a rise in hacker attacks on corporations with ransomware. Digitalization has its downsides, after all, and growing cybersecurity risks are one of them. A common advice here is a double-control over access, release and transfer of critical or sensitive data. Usually, it’s the personal data of customers.
These six recommendations worked for any projects Synopps has ever been involved in. They are right for companies of all sizes and business fields. Follow them to avoid pitfalls and increase your company’s potential.