Master data management, commonly called MDM, is an increasingly hot topic. You may have heard the term thrown around and been wondering, “What is MDM?” and, “Does my business need it?” We’re sharing a crash course in master data management to cover those questions, and we may even answer some you haven’t thought of asking yet.

What Is MDM (master data management)

What is MDM?

Master data management allows for successful downstream analytics as well as synchronization of data to systems across your business. The process involves three major steps:

  1. Ingest all relevant data in a repository.
  2. Use an MDM tool (such as Riversand or Semarchy) to “goldenize” the data. In other words, create one current, complete, and accurate record.
  3. Send the goldenized data downstream for analytics and back to the original source.

Let’s say one part of your business stores customer data in Oracle and a different area has customer data in Salesforce. And maybe you’re acquiring a business that stores customer data in HubSpot in some instances. You want to be able to access all of this information, understand what you’re accessing, and then analyze the data to help you make better business decisions. This is when you would turn to master data management.

Do we need an MDM solution?

This chart is a bit of an oversimplification but serves as a starting point. If you want to better understand how master data management could impact your business and ensure your MDM solution is customized to your needs, you can work with data and analytics consulting firm like 2nd Watch.

Do we need an MDM solution


When should I get help implementing an MDM solution?

An MDM company will be skilled at creating the “golden record” of your data. (Reminder: This is one current, complete, and accurate record.) However, they typically lack the ability to provide guidance going forward.

A data and analytics consulting firm like 2nd Watch will take a broad view of the current state of your business and its individual entities, while also considering where you want your organization to go. We partner with leading master data management providers like Riversand to ensure you get the best possible MDM solution. We can then guide the MDM implementation and set you up for next steps like creating reports and developing a data governance strategy.

Having an advocate for your future state goals during an master data management implementation is particularly important because there are four types of MDM architecture styles: registry, consolidation, coexistence, and centralized. You don’t need to understand the nuances of these master data management styles; that’s our job. 2nd Watch’s MDM experience has helped us develop recommendations on which style works best for different needs, so we can quickly generate value but also follow data best practices.

Even more important is how an master data management solution evolves over time. As your business changes, your data will change with it. 2nd Watch can develop an MDM solution that keeps up with your needs, moving through the progressively complex styles of MDM architecture as your organization grows and expands.

If you think an MDM solution might be right for your organization, contact us to learn more about how we can help.