Master Data Management

Master Data Management

Master Data Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning

Customer management can be segmented into three distinct but closely related focus areas:

  • Master Data Management (MDM). MDM can include information and processes contained within specific tools, for the purpose of ensuring consistent and accurate customer data. This data is important in developing long-term, consistent, and reliable customer relationships. This also feeds into Customer Relationship Management (CRM)—the two go hand in hand and are usually integrated in one form or another.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Maintaining good customer master data is perhaps the most important component of a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. CRM enables the sales/sales management process, allowing sales staffs to interact with and identify sales opportunities at just the right time, with prospects who may be ready to buy at particular times in the sales cycle.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Enterprise Resource Planning systems have become a vital business solution to streamline processes, automate orders, and develop businesses. The prime feature of the software is that it facilitates the seamless sharing of information across departments, through one common database that serves the entire organization. Linking these various business functions allows for improved efficiency, saving both time and money.


Informatica ( has one of the better definitions of Master Data Management:

A master data management solution is the glue that binds your systems and information together. It’s the single source of truth for your data-driven digital transformation, providing trusted, accurate, complete data for your customer experience program, marketing and sales operations, omnichannel retailing, supply chain optimization, governance efforts, compliance initiatives, and more.

Master data that includes key pieces of information on an organization’s customers must be configured into a single and searchable resource. That information may already be available and sitting in one place or may be scattered in various forms and formats. In the latter case, identifying and consolidating that information into a single and primary resource is necessary. How daunting that task will be often depends on how many customers there are. If, through the life of an organization, sales have been made to 25,000 customers, that’s more of a significant undertaking than compiling records for 100 customers. Nevertheless, that information must be identified and compiled. These records can sit in a number of different areas, such as past orders, financial records, various databases, etc.

What to Compile

It’s usually better to compile more information than less. Once a complete master data has been created, unnecessary or irrelevant information can be discarded. To start, it’s usually good to begin with full customer details, such as contact persons, contact information, company size/sales/employee size, locations, specializations, and previous purchases.

How to Compile

Once an organization knows where to look and what to look for, the process of compiling the information can begin. As mentioned earlier, an organization usually will not compile this information, simply to place every detail into a spreadsheet and leave it at that. A decision must be made on where to place and store the data. That usually involves selecting a third-party solution or building a solution internally. Because compatibility will always be key (for CRM and financial considerations), securing a third-party solution is usually best.

Once the master data file has been compiled, it’s important to implement a process for adding to it and managing the data. Another consideration is to define who will have access to the data, either for adding additional data or having the data readily available for presenting, in case the company is to be sold and the buyer has interest in the customer master.

What to Use

Since compiling into a spreadsheet will not do, selecting and implementing the right master data solution will impact the organization’s ability to intelligently access critical customer information when selling and forecasting.


When choosing a master data tool, it’s best to select a solution that is flexible enough to grow as the business grows.


The Chief Information Officer, in conjunction with the sales team (SVP or Director of Sales) should have primary ownership of MDM.

Data Security

Measures to ensure security of your data should include:

  • Proper classification of data to ensure regulatory and legal compliance
  • Appropriate access/sign-in procedures based on staff responsibility
  • In the cloud or on-site, to be determined by the type of solution the organization chooses. Customers within the master data file may require specific security requirements when their data is housed.

How to Select an MDM Solution

When considering the selection of an MDM solution, there are several criteria to consider. These criteria are designed to ensure the ideal solution is chosen to effectively handle the breadth and scope of data associated with your organization.


[Insert Selecting an MDM Solution Checklist Document: image and download]

MDM Solution Providers

IBM – Master Data Management

Master data management solutions from IBM establish a single, trusted, 360-degree view of customer and product data, enabling users to get better business insights and drive growth through self-service analytics.

SAP – NetWeaver Master Data Management 7.1

MDM can be divided into various key capabilities and offers a comprehensive set of tools and functions for all these key capabilities. Import and export mechanisms, services and predefined content ensure that master data can be integrated from a wide range of sources. All these functions are described in the master data integration section.

Oracle – Enterprise Data Management

Adapt and respond to change faster and more effectively by managing your master data, whether migrating an application to the cloud; managing the effects of mergers and acquisitions; or reconciling metadata differences across business functions and applications.


Leverage a central repository of reliable, up-to-date master data consolidated across all enterprise applications with powerful tools to improve data quality and governance.


Master data management (MDM) is the process of making sure an organization is always working with, and making decisions based on, one version of current, ‘true’ data—often referred to as a “golden record.”

Sounds simple, but in modern business environments, awash with constant streams of data, master data management may be one of the most complex business challenges. Ingesting data from diverse sources and presenting it as one constant, reliable source for verified, real-time information takes a combination of know-how, tools, and often a strategic partnership.

Boomi – Master Data Hub

Boomi Master Data Hub is a cloud-native master data management (MDM) solution that sits at the center of the various data silos within your business – including your existing MDM solution, to provide you an easy to implement, scalable, flexible, and secure master data management hub as a service


Deliver exceptional customer experiences and optimize business processes with solutions that expand your MDM capabilities as your business grows.


Teradata Master Data Management (MDM) drives significant ROI using consistent reference data to establish an accurate analytical data foundation.


OpenText enterprise data management solutions address a broad range of data management needs, from data governance and data quality to data security and more. Using OpenText™ Alloy™ for enterprise data management, organizations move beyond basic integration and turn data into insights and action.


SAS MDM integrates master data management technologies with those in SAS 9.4. SAS MDM is a web-based application that is accessed through the SAS Data Management Console. SAS MDM provides a single, accurate and unified view of corporate data, integrating information from various data sources into one master record. SAS enables you to develop master data management processes, and it provides the technology required to analyze existing data resources, build a unified view of that information, and manage that master view of data over time.


Master and reference data are at the center of every mission-critical activity: Operational systems need consistent information. Analytics needs accurate dimensions and hierarchies. Compliance efforts need trustworthy data.

With TIBCO master data management you can create a single place for all domains—customers, employees, suppliers, assets, locations, materials, products, legal entities, financial accounts, reference data, and more! Everyone works to ensure master and reference data is accurate and consistent. Because these assets are essential to you, TIBCO provides multiple ways to distribute and integrate them.


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system may mean different things to different organizations. For the purposes of this document, the definition we’ll use for CRM is as follows:

A system in which an organization identifies, compiles, analyzes, and utilizes current and potential customer, partner, vendor, and stakeholder information for the purpose of better understanding and solidifying those relationships, while identifying and taking advantage of revenue opportunities.

As you can see with the above definition, a CRM system does not have to be relegated to managing only customer relationships. Depending on which solution is chosen, a robust CRM can handle a variety of relationships that require multiple touch points and interactions.

A CRM system may be built internally by the organization, purchased from a third-party provider and housed on the company’s own server, or purchased from a third-party as a cloud/SaaS solution that the company subscribes to. The third option has become increasingly popular and more practical for many organizations—regardless of their size. By allowing a third-party organization to provide the CRM platform, a company can use the rich features offered by the solution and focus more of their attention on the customer relationship. In addition, improvements and upgrades to the solution, when subscribing to a cloud version, are ongoing—including the ability to customize the solution without the significant cost of building it in-house.

How Companies Use CRM Systems

For companies with more than a handful of customers, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of relationships manually. Identifying trends, opportunities, preferences, and financial data that not only informs the relationship but is also interrelated to other systems (see MDM) can realistically be done only through the use of a CRM system.

In the previous section on MDM, one of the components mentioned was how information is input into the master data. As the CRM is one of the tools used to input data, it should ideally be integrated with the MDM.

In addition, the CRM can be tied to the company’s financial systems in a way that allows for insight into which products or services are generating the greatest revenue and margin, and which ones are candidates for being discontinued. In relation to this, a CRM system can inform the sales team by tracking how they spend their time, which activities are providing good return, and which activities should be discontinued. Furthermore, a good CRM will help an organization or sales team best manage the entire customer lifecycle. Beginning with first contact and continuing through to the successful sale and delivery and the repetition of that sales cycle, all related information is housed in the CRM.

The CRM system can also be used as part of the marketing function, as marketing automation and its relation to social media and advertising has become fairly ubiquitous in the last several years.

How to Select a CRM Solution

The process of selecting a CRM system may be similar to the MDM selection process, with a few variations. Specifically, the selection of any enterprise-level solution typically includes the need to follow a step-by-step evaluation process.

[Insert Selecting a CRM Solution Checklist Document: image and download]


Comments are closed.