Key Principles to MDM Success

Key Principles to MDM Success

As I ride back to Philadelphia, I can’t help but think of the day’s events at Informatica MDM Day 2015 in New York City. The day was rich with keynotes and panels from customers, partners and Informatica, all sharing a variety of experiences with their Master Data Management implementations. Unsurprisingly, despite coming from various industries, like finance, banking and healthcare, nearly all panelists and keynote speakers had similar experiences during their MDM implementations.

The MDM Day discussions, along with my own experience, compel me to share a few tips. There are three key takeaways to keep in mind with Master Data Management:

Find your executive advocates.

Despite MDM technology being a complicated set of integrated tools, success does not rely on simply executing an implementation plan. As I heard during the panels, it’s clear that the key for successful master data management projects is a close alignment with business leaders who are deeply vested in data. These business visionaries know that data quality is a driving factor of their success. A strong executive sponsor will drive data governance from within your organization, and ultimately, into master data management.

It makes me think of my own journey to MDM.

In the past I’ve been a part of teams with IT leaders that rely on their users too much when it comes to ‘owning’ the data. Data stewardship put the onus of reconciliation and validation of data onto consumers of the data. There wasn’t a real partnership between business and IT to further data quality. Data governance is more than talking about data and information in your organization. It requires action and a process. But how should organizations delegate accountability to the business data owners in order to achieve the organic progression of data governance and master data management?

The MDM Day panelists stressed the critical executive sponsors: the business data owners who have become enlightened to the importance of master data management. These business data gurus are found in each industry, but in various places. For example, a sales organization will value customer, opportunity and lead information. A marketing organization may value demographics, while a healthcare organization will value provider and patient safety initiatives, and so on. When the guru is engaged, they will passionately speak about the data, the issues of the data, and how it is affecting their business. These are the individuals to partner with on your MDM journey.

Start small!

Begin with small teams and small implementation, but find a complex (not too complex!) problem to solve that will create value for the business. Once executives see this value, there will be much more support for the next project.

The Informatica MDM product is complicated and large. It is highly integrated with many pieces of software from Informatica’s software stack. Due to this complexity, even if your team has ETL expertise, almost all panelists at the event recommended partnering with a services vendor to provide expertise for implementation. While this technical implementation is taking place, your staff and team should focus on establishing the process around data governance and identify those key stakeholders who may act as data stewards.

Is your organization ready to begin this journey? Have you found those stakeholders who are business data gurus? Are you ready to begin a relationship with an implementation partner to deliver MDM? Then please contact SSG Limited for more information about how we can assist as your most trusted advisor on these initiatives.

In my next blog, I will be discussing the third takeaway: creating value for the business with MDM.