What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

Data is one of the most valuable resources in the world. It is up there with fossil fuels and even gold. This is because it is sold to analyze information, find new target demographics, and create databases of useful data. It doesn’t matter what your company does, data is integral to any tech business.

Not only is it vital to marketing, your company can make a lot of money by using it and selling to other businesses. This may seem ethically dubious, but it all depends on how you use people’s personal data and if you asked for it originally. There are many kinds of data, but if you want to narrow it down and utilize the information to your best ability, master data management (MDM) is vital.

Master Data Management

Essentially master data is the culmination of many sources of data. What you are doing is narrowing down data that is stored and analyzed with many different software systems. It is imperative to decide what master data you will manage closely and what you will store. Most software have lists of that data that are shared by multiple applications. These include various forms of data including transactional data, personal data, metadata, and more.

The sum of these different types of data is called master data, and it needs to be managed carefully to get the most out of it. Whether you are using it for marketing, sales to other companies, or for developing products and services, it’s necessary to know how to narrow down the information you garner and utilize it in the best way possible. To do this, it is also helpful to understand the subsets of data, what they are, and how to use them.

Rudimentary Data

It is important to know data definitions. There are at least six different forms of data. First is unstructured data. This is the information you get from accessing emails, articles in magazines and newspapers, corporate intranet portals, specifications of products, collateral marketing, and PDF files made by companies. Unstructured data is just that, which also gives you the ability to use it in creative, unstructured ways.

Another form of rudimentary data is transactional. Making up data about business engagements related to system transactions, sales, deliveries, claims, invoices, and other forms of non-monetary interactions, transactional data is needed for analysis by other systems. These unit level transactions use master data entities but are temporal and instantaneous.

A third type of data is metadata, which is the information about the data. Data about data. While it may be stored in a formal repository like XML documents, column descriptions in a database, reports, log files and configuration files, metadata is everything you need to know about any website, document, or any other form of computational data.

Reference data is a type of master data that categorizes information used to relate it to activities outside the company or institution. It can be shared across traditional master and transactional data objects, making it possible to go beyond a specific country, currency, time zone, and even payment terms.

Hieratical data stores the relationships between other forms of data as part of an accounting system or separately as descriptions of tangible interactions like company organizational structures or products. Sometimes talked about as a super MDM, hierarchical data is critical to understanding and revealing relationships between sets of data.

Master data is the sum of these parts that describe objects concerning how the business is conducted and how the data is used to its advantage. It is necessary to run modern businesses, but MDM is not transactional by design. It describes transactions, the information of customers and typically falls into four domains—products, locations, customers, and miscellaneous sets of data.

Data & the Future

If technology is the future, data is the train that will take us there. It already has become so valuable, not just for its quantity but for its varied uses. The understanding of data will create new ways to use it, opening the door for all kinds of tech and online businesses. Master data management is critical for any business these days, it will facilitate marketing and help your company grow. If you aren’t properly using MDM, the time has come to change with the times and manage the information that could lead to a thriving and life-changing business.