In Master Data Management (MDM)

The business is as valuable as its data is well leveraged. 

However, estimating at which level your data potential is exploited or if there is room for improvement is not an easy task. How would you rate it or analyze the ROI of a Data Management solution? In certain cases like for a Product Information Management solution mostly used to improve product pages, positive results in terms of page ranking, dwell times, conversion rate and sales can be perceived rather quickly.

Master data doesn’t change as frequently as product data (i.e contact information, addresses, etc.), but it is regularly used by all company departments. This is probably the reason why the benefits of a Master Data Management solution can only be clearly observed on a long-term perspective. MDM focuses on continuous improvement of the company’s organizational design, aligning it to the current and future business needs.

In this article we will have a look at several areas (some of them rather unexpected), where a MDM solution can bring long-term benefits.

Financial performance

Considering data as an essential strategical raw material of the company is obvious, but assigning a concrete monetary value to your data is less. The Association for Information and Image management succeeded in this task. In 2010 AIIM published a study about the impact of poor data quality in terms of wasted resources and overall business efficiency.  A couple of years have passed by, but these organization’s struggles are still relevant:

3 long-term benefits (or hidden treasures) of a MDM solution

Don’t they say “time is money?” As a MDM solution enables people to get the right information to the right person at the desired time, while reducing operating costs and time, and therefore increase productivity, it will generate sustainable growth and leverage data for new business opportunities.

Work environment

In his blog article about the consequences of poor data quality, Garrett Mehrguth
cited an interesting example from T. Redman book*:

“Two departments, call them A and B, each needed data about parts. Their needs overlapped considerably, but each needed a few fields that the other did not. Initially the data was maintained by department A, but the quality wasn’t high enough for department B, so it developed its own database. Soon the databases became horribly inconsistent. The issue became a “lightning rod” and it became impossible for the two departments to work together.“

Doesn’t it sound familiar? Constantly running after your colleagues to get the information, reproduce lost documents, compare two versions of the same file or finding out that the document that you created from scratch already exists, but was just stored in the wrong place, etc. These repetitive pain points can turn into a significant source of frustration, stress and tensions within teams, affecting general working atmosphere. A MDM solution has a great potential of improving internal collaboration, as it resolves recurring issues such as data quality, information centralization and user rights management.

Brand image

Sending the invoice to the wrong location because of the incorrect billing address, or sending more than one letter to the same household: these are seemingly trivial mistakes, practically belgoning to a daily routine in most companies. However, dispersed data and poor data quality breeds mistrust and harms your reputation, leading to serious consequences, such as bad customer satisfaction ratings. What is a customer or a supplier supposed to think about a company that can’t even get the right billing address? By enhancing your CRM system, master data plays an important role in creating a seamless consumer experience and providing a professional brand image.

Thoroughly implemented and fully exploited, a MDM solution can strengthen your whole business with long-term benefits ranging from not less than an increased productivity, an improved internal collaboration, to the delivery of a seamless brand image.

If you would like to get more details about master data management, feel free to download our KNAUF Case Study!


* The Impact of Poor Data Quality on the Typical Enterprise. Communications of the ACM, 1998. Thomas C. Redman