What Is an Example of a Master Data Element?

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by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 18, 2024

What Is Master Data?

Master data is the essential core data that is critical to running a business. It often will include information about customers, prospects, products, employees, suppliers, sites, hierarchies, charts of accounts and much more. While master data is not considered to be transactional data, it is a critical component of a business’ transactional abilities, and is often shared across various departments and systems within an organization.

Master data examples include:

  1. Customer Data: Information about customers such as their names, addresses, contact details, and purchasing history.

  2. Product Data: Details about products or services offered by the organization including descriptions, specifications, pricing, and inventory levels.

  3. Employee Data: Data related to employees such as their names, positions, contact information, payroll details, and performance evaluations.

  4. Supplier Data: Information about suppliers such as their names, contact details, payment terms, and performance metrics.

  5. Financial Data: Core financial information including chart of accounts, cost centers, profit centers, and other financial structures.

Master data management (MDM) is the process of ensuring the accuracy, consistency, and integrity of master data across an organization. It involves creating and maintaining a single, authoritative source of master data that can be accessed and then used by different parts of an organization. Often, master data is owned by a partnership between the business and IT. This ensures accuracy, uniformity and semantic consistency. Effective management of master data is critical for making informed business decisions and improving operational efficiency. It can even boost customer satisfaction.

What Is an Example of a Master Data Element?

Master data in a company is the foundational information that is essential for its day-to-day operations and decision-making. Unlike transactional data, which records specific business transactions like sales, purchases, or payments, master data provides context and structure for these transactions. It serves as a reference point for understanding and managing the various aspects of the business.

For example, with customer master data, this would include essential information about customers that is crucial for maintaining relationships, fulfilling orders, and providing customer service. This might look something like this: 

  1. Customer Name

  2. Address

  3. Contact Details: Phone numbers, email addresses, and best means of communication.

  4. Billing and Shipping Information: Details related to invoicing and delivery addresses.

  5. Credit Terms: Terms and conditions related to credit extended to the customer.

  6. Sales History: Historical data related to purchases made by the customer.

This is considered non-transactional data because it does not change frequently and remains relatively stable over time, while transactional data can vary with each business interaction, customer master data provides a consistent point for interacting with customers.

Similarly, master data for other entities such as prospects, suppliers, sites, hierarchies, and charts of accounts serves as a foundation for conducting business operations. It provides a standardized way of accessing information about key entities. This allows for better communication, analysis, and decision-making across the organization.

Product Information Management (PIM) is another example of a master data element. Product information management is a part of data management that focuses on the centralized storage of product information. Product information management is the process of managing accurate and consistent information about products offered by a company.

What Is an Example of an MDM?

Master Data Management (MDM) is a critical component of modern data management strategies, and there are various software solutions available in the market to assist companies in this endeavor. These solutions vary in terms of features, capabilities, scalability, and integration options.

Master Data Management Example List:

  1. Stibo Systems

  2. Informatica

  3. PiLog MDRM

  4. TIBCO

  5. Profisee

  6. SAP

  7. IBM

  8. Reltio

  9. Oracle

  10. Microsoft

Additionally, there are Product Information Management (PIM) solutions that offer MDM functionality as part of their features set. Examples of such solutions include Pimcore and Syndigo.

Not every company needs to invest in a standalone Master Data Management System. While MDM platforms are crucial for managing complex and interconnected master data across an organization, smaller or less complex businesses may find that point solutions such as Product Information Management (PIM) tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platforms provide enough functionality to manage data. By viewing a Master Data Management tools list, a business can determine what functionality it truly needs, and which are optional or not useful.

It's the largest enterprises with highly complex data needs that should consider investing in a dedicated MDM solution for the full range of Master Data Management tools. These companies often have diverse data sources, numerous data domains, and complex data relationships that require centralized management and governance that will require the full MDM tools list.

To decide if investing in an MDM solution is the right choice for you, it’s necessary to conduct a thorough assessment of the company's data management needs, complexity, scalability requirements, and available resources. For many companies, leveraging existing point solutions and integrating them effectively may provide a more practical and cost-effective approach to managing data.

What Is the Best MDM Tool?

Still wondering what are the benefits of master data management? Or perhaps you're keen to know the top master data management tools? It’s important to remember though that there aren’t universal answers to these questions. When selecting a Master Data Management (MDM) solution, it's critical to consider the specific needs and existing technology stack of a business. The best MDM solution will greatly depend on factors such as the company's industry, size, complexity of data, existing software infrastructure, and future growth plans.

For example, if a company already has a substantial investment in enterprise software from vendors like SAP, IBM, Oracle, or Microsoft, it may make sense to leverage MDM solutions offered by these vendors.

However, it's essential to conduct a thorough evaluation of the specific features, capabilities, and pricing of each MDM solution to determine which one aligns best with the business needs and objectives. Additionally, considering factors such as vendor reputation, and user reviews can also help in making an informed decision. In fact, one of the best sources for evaluating MDM solutions are user reviews at the Gartner MDM reviews as well as G2 reviews.

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