What Is the Product Master Data Management Process?

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by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024

It is increasingly important to have control and ownership of your company data. Data includes everything from internal product information to sales and marketing numbers to detailed analytics on your digital business performance. The value of data can’t be underestimated, but knowing the steps to take and the tools to use to make the most of it is a different story.

Master Data Management is a solution used by large enterprise businesses to administer and organize data. But is it the best solution for all companies? And what is the actual process of master data management? In this article, we’ll walk through these questions and help you understand what tools are best for your data management strategies.

What Is Meant by Master Data Management

Master Data Management, sometimes called MDM, is a digital solution that centralizes all the information about an organization. A Master Data Management solution provides a single source of truth for all information and data across the entire business, not just product data. This prevents data silos, which is when information is held by a single department or group and is inaccessible to other teams that may need it to do their jobs.

An MDM solution is typically an enterprise-wide deployment that is extensive to implement, with long time schedules for each step and the involvement of many individuals. Other solutions, like Product Information Management, or PIM, can be a much more useful implementation that is easier to get started with. PIM also provides more specific benefits to sales and marketing teams, and is designed to hold product information and data on its own, not all the data of a company.

Why Master Data Management is Important

There are many benefits of Master Data Management for enterprise organizations. Master Data Management (MDM) is important because it provides a centralized and consistent view of master data across the entire organization. Without an MDM solution, it can be exceedingly difficult to track down data, gather information, or find who has possession of key files and documents. When data is scattered across departments and teams, there is no consistency in data quality, and some departments may be working with entirely different information sets than others.

The use of an MDM software solution consolidates data from multiple sources into a single master data view. Additionally, MDM can provide a higher level of data governance and provide standardization across all data processes, applications, and system collaborations. MDM also improves methods of data sharing across the business and to trusted third parties, like those in the supply chain or outside marketing and creative agencies.

What Is the Product Master Data Management Process?

Master Data Management can be specified for product information. Product Master Management can be approached in numerous ways, and the Master Data Management process can be tweaked for each company’s individual needs and nuances. However, most companies tend to follow a similar process for Product Master Management and how Master Data Management roles and responsibilities are assigned within an organization. The common process looks like the following:

  1. Define master data for your business and determine what qualifies as master data.

  2. Identify all sources of this master data, including what exists in different departments and teams.

  3. Document who within your business and externally creates, updates, and uses this master data. Ensure you are thinking towards the future as well.

  4. Collect and analyze all existing master data to better understand current data structures and major data discrepancies.

  5. Appoint master data owners who will be responsible for the data management process.

  6. Create and implement a data governance program to ensure quality control.

  7. Establish the master data model for the entire business.

  8. Evaluate and choose an MDM solution that will help you achieve your data model.

  9. Implement the new MDM solution and new MDM model across the organization.

  10. Continually review data governance, master data discrepancies, and opportunities for improvement and to eliminate major data management errors.

What Is an Example of an MDM?

There are numerous Master Data Management companies that provide solutions for businesses who want to take ownership of their company information. Finding the best fit may take some time, so be sure to evaluate the different Master Data Management tools available on the market. Some of the biggest Master Data Management system solutions include:

In addition to these companies, there are some Product Information Management (PIM) solutions that provide the same features and functionalities of MDM, like Pimcore and Syndigo. However, it’s important to remember that not every company needs an MDM solution. MDM requires a complex and time-consuming process which many companies don’t need to get involved with.

Only the largest enterprises with highly complex data needs should consider a Master Data Management solution. For most small- to mid-sized companies, and even enterprises with simpler data needs, point solutions such as Product Information Management (PIM) tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platforms will provide more than enough functionality to effectively manage the company’s data without the overhaul required of Master Data Management.

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