The Sapphire wave of Master Data

by Tom Carroll

I spent a great deal of time attending Master Data Management sessions. Many people I spoke with observed that Master Data Management was a popular topic. Companies have come to embrace the value of high quality data. The level of complexity varies by domain, Material being the most complex and vendor being the least complex, customer and employee somewhere between the two. One of the speakers thought that material master data might be 10x more complex compared to vendor. In simple terms data is still an under valued asset. As more companies work to implement service oriented architectures and build more complex composite applications, the value of the high quality data will become even more evident.

Some critical success factors from the sessions I attended:

  • Executive sponsorship is required
  • The business must drive the master data effort
  • Take a focused approach (aka don’t boil the ocean)
  • Treat data quality like product quality, with the same rigor