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One common mistake that takes place at the highest levels of an organization is the assumption that any good idea arrives with everything it needs to be successful. But make no mistake: there is no silver bullet for any enterprise information initiative, let alone master data management (MDM). Information professionals recognize that master information consolidation is “the right thing to do,” but that does not necessarily imply that there are always going to be acute business requirements that support a drastic upheaval of an information management program.
The migration to an organization that relies exclusively on master data management does not take place overnight; the shift evolves through a number of transitional information management stages. Recognizing that the process involves more than purchasing a software package or engaging outside solution vendors is the first step towards achieving the MDM evolution. But it is more than that – it means understanding the essential capabilities necessary for a successful MDM deployment and the degree of maturity of those capabilities necessary to make MDM actionable.
No “functionality list” completely captures the inventory of services that a specific business requires from its master repository. However, it is worthwhile to explore a high level enumeration of core MDM capabilities, and in this white paper we will provide a conceptual outline of technical MDM components. This white paper explores levels of maturity based on the ability to provide MDM services. By presenting the MDM component layers in terms of their maturity, enterprise architects can target a desired level of MDM maturity and develop a design and implementation roadmap that articulates the steps to take when assembling an MDM program.
The proliferation of enterprise-level applications (along with expectation for shared, synchronized information) drives the need for the development of a single view of the key data entities in common use across the organization. At the technical level, the drivers and fundamentals of MDM can be summarized as processes for consolidating variant versions of instances of core data objects, distributed across the organization, into a unique representation. In turn, that unique representation is continually synchronized across the enterprise application architecture to make master data a shared resource. The result is a master repository of uniquely identified key data entity instances that are integrated through a service layer with applications across the organization.
Like many technology projects, the devil is in the details. To accomplish what may seem to be a relatively straightforward set of ideas, the organization must prepare for the technical, operational, and management challenges that will appear along the way. In fact, the deployment of an MDM solution could evolve through a number of iterations, introducing data object consolidation for analytic purposes as an initial step, then following on with increasing levels of integration, service and synchronization.
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