Showing Professionals the Elegant Simplicity and Immense Benefits Master Data Can Bring to the Enterprise
Struggling to find a non-technical way to explain the value of Master Data to a business stakeholder? Most conversations go something like this:
YOU: We need a “golden record.”
CEO: Well that sounds expensive!
So here are a few handy thoughts to help you explain (or understand) Master Data. Try them on your favorite business stakeholder!
It’s a common language. A common language for the common relationship types across your enterprise. What is a customer? What is a prospect? What is a partner? Make sure everybody has the same shared understanding of a given relationship type everywhere you engage in that relationship across your enterprise.
It’s about rows and columns. Imagine the most simplistic way people visualize data: in a table. People are really good at columns, but they’re not good at rows. Master Data is the row part. It’s that structure that helps you tie all those different columns of disparate data together across that nice row format.
It’s about truth and meaning. This is not chicken or egg; this is egg and omelet. Determine the truth first, before you derive meaning. It has to be in that order.
It’s about making good decisions. That’s all business people want to do – make good decisions. But good decisions, made on bad data, are just bad decisions you don’t know about yet.
It’s about your relationships. Everybody wants to grow or improve or protect their relationships. If you want to care for your relationships, you need to have a common language, standard definitions, and a way to align all those different data sources together to get the meaning out of the truth you’ve established.