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Master Reference Data: Fix your ‘small MDM’ issues before looking at big ones

Last week, Orchestra Networks co-sponsored the MDM & Data Governance Summit in New York city. One of the hot topics during the summit was what Aaron Zornes, the conference chair, calls Master Reference Data. Master Reference Data is a small set of stable, slow-changing reference data that is not only shared by all business teams and applications, but also linked to other traditional master data such as products or customers.

Actually, nearly half of the discussions at our booth were focused on cross-domain projects on reference data:

  • A large-scale, worldwide bank is trying to streamline Master Reference Data across all its lines of business, from retail to investment banking. Even if each business unit has an MDM project underway, Master Reference Data management has been identified as a priority that needs to take precedence. The main driver for this is the need for global reporting and regulatory compliance.
  • A manufacturing company, new to MDM, decided to address geographies and market segmentation as its first MDM program, with an aggressive three-month timeframe. This project is a pre-requisite for any future MDM projects.
  • And a consumer services company told us that they had experienced a failed CDI (Customer Data Integration) project. It found that one of the main culprits was the lack of shared references such as customer categories, markets or sales regions. Without common definitions, business teams and IT applications were not able to converge on a single customer master. This three million dollar project could have been a success had it started with a quick, cost-effective pilot on Master Reference Data.

Master Reference Data management is one of the top use cases for more than 60 of our customers. Learn why starting with Master Reference Data makes sense for your organization and secure your future MDM initiatives.

By Christophe Barriolade