More and more attention is being given to master data managment (MDM). This is the set of processes and tools that consistently defines and manages the non-transactional data entities of an organization. The benefits of the MDM paradigm increase as the number and diversity of organizational departments, worker roles and computing applications expand. For this reason, MDM is more likely to be of value to large or complex enterprises than to small, medium-sized or simple ones. When companies merge, the implementation of MDM can minimize confusion and optimize the efficiency of the new, larger organization.

MDM promises not just greater control over consistent reference data, but an ability to manage the relations between data entities in order to generate more effective business knowledge. MDM requires an understanding and agreement about the meaning of terminology; hence, the natural role and use of taxonomy.

Taxonomy is about naming things. It is about the semantic architecture and making decisions about how to map different concepts and terms to a consistent structure. A significant challenge to an MDM data architecture is ambiguity. Taxonomy brings consistency like the ying to their yang, and to vanquish ambiguity.

It can be very difficult to get complete agreement on what terms to use, and people will use terms inconsistently if given a choice. A thesaurus can map terms together to account for these inconsistencies. Taxonomies can also represent related concepts that can be used to connect processes, business logic, or dynamic/related content to support specific tasks.

At the very basic level, MDM eliminates redundant and inconsistent versions of the same data in your organization. Companies today struggle to become more agile by implementing information systems that support and facilitate changing business requirements. As a result, the management of information about products, customers, etc. has become increasingly important.

Smart MDM will power your customer analytics and insights. There is no shortage of data about customers, so why is it that when customers contact them, most companies seem completely unaware about anything specific regarding that customer, let alone tastes and preferences? The reason is delinquency when it comes to the aggregation and management of the customer’s data inside the company.

The notion of a centralized repository for key business data is an important aspect of providing a more comprehensive customer experience with the assistance of MDM.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.