Master Data provides structure to your information. It is really the backbone of your data. Master Data also plays an important role in integrating external data. Without well-defined and high-quality master data it is very difficult to integrate your data both internally and externally. From a business perspective, key master data elements can have varying importance. Core master data elements include:
There are other types of master data such as financial, human resources and manufacturing amongst others. Your information and data strategy needs to take all Master Data into account.
When working through your information strategy, it is important to communicate with your source system owners and business process owners to assure them that the master data attributes and hierarchies will support the information needed to run the business processes. Many times IT organizations are asked to create or back into a relationship or hierarchy that would have been better served if defined in a source system.
Building a strong relationship with the master data owners and master data team will help mitigate negative impacts when master data must be changed. It is paramount, regardless of relationships, to have a strong master data governance process where the information strategy team plays a significant role.
Master Data Management
Keeping your master data in sync with your business processes and ensuring that it has high quality and is up-to-date is critical to delivering actionable information. Master data management is not just an IT tool. It is mostly a business process that is supported by the IT organization through a variety of tools which can include a master data management hub for centralizing all of your critical master data.