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Master Data Management in Practice: Achieving True Customer MDM by Mark Allen, Dalton Cervo

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Introduction

Today's business environment requires companies to find a way to differentiate themselves from their competition and thrive amid increased pressure to succeed. While a company's data is obviously extremely important to drive and gauge success, the data is often poorly organized and underutilized due to quality and consistency issues. This can be particularly true with master data.

Master data provides a foundation and a connecting function for business intelligence (BI) by the way in which it interacts and connects with transactional data from multiple business areas such as sales, service, order management, purchasing, manufacturing, billing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable (AP). Master data consists of information critical to a company's operations and BI, and is usually categorized into master data entity areas (also often referred to as data domains) such as customers, products, suppliers, partners, employees, materials, and so on. While often nontransactional in nature, master data is utilized in most transactional processes and operations, and serves BI by providing data for analytics and reporting. Although defined as master data, this data often exists in duplicate, fragmented, and inconsistent forms in disparate systems across the organization and typically lacks a common data management approach.

Master Data Management (MDM) practices have arisen primarily to address these data quality and fragmentation issues. For years, there has been a huge ...

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