What is Master Data Management?

What is Master Data Management?

Maintaining and operating a profitable business in the modern world is a complex endeavor, particularly for large, multinational organizations in asset-intensive industries. 

While hiring the right people and cementing strategic partnerships is a crucial aspect of success, maintaining data integrity is perhaps the most fundamental component of them all. 

Without accurate and up-to-date enterprise data, business processes break down, operational efficiency suffers, and profitability decreases over the long term. This is where the concept of master data management enters the equation. 

Without high levels of data quality and accuracy, along with a well-designed master data governance program, your business will eventually find itself at risk.

Why is Data Quality Important? What Kind of Data Should You Keep Track of?

No matter the type of business you’re in, it’s necessary to keep track of (and have easy access to) reference data on your customers, products, suppliers, employees, vendors, and equipment just to name a few. 

Having accurate data is important for a number of reasons, but it can be summarized with an old truism borrowed from the computer science field: garbage in, garbage out. What this means in the context of master data management is that without accurate inputs, you will likely end up with inaccurate outputs. This can mean bad decisions, wasted money, and lower productivity.

Master data management initiatives seek to strengthen companies by organizing and managing master data information so that this critical information can not only be trusted as accurate, but also so that it can be accessible quickly and easily by key decision makers.

Particularly for asset-intensive industries like mining, automotive, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper and others, proper master data management capabilities are crucial because of the necessity of maintaining robust and healthy Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) supply chains.

International supply chains can be extremely complicated, and without a central database in which to store, analyze and manage master data, organizations face unnecessary operational risk. The stronger their supply chain, the better their asset reliability, operational efficiency and cashflow – something impossible to attain without accurate data management.

How Does a Master Data Management Program Work?

Master data management (MDM) refers to more than just an accurate record-keeping system. Well-functioning master data management programs usually include a combination of important aspects, including: 

  • Data governance directives that help to manage the principles and policies around which your master data management system is built
  • Data governance policies built based on those directives, helping to define the various requirements and standards to which the master data should adhere
  • Master data management tools and technology where the data reside and are accessed
  • Master data measurement practices that keep track of and maintain the quality of your complete master data
  • Master data processes and organizational structure, in which your organization’s data managers and data owners control and guide data across its lifecycle in a structured way

Applying well-structured data management practices and using the most powerful data management tools can give any organization a significant business advantage over their competitors, and help them manage the complexities inherent in today’s global marketplace.

Finding the Right Master Data Management Solution For Your Business

Master Data Management Solution

Within data management, the goal is always to have the most accurate master data records possible, with the aim of providing the greatest business value to your organization.

Using a consistent master data taxonomy that accurately reflects all of your critical data across multiple systems, your master database and data assets can be integrated across multiple domains, giving your decision makers the information they need to mitigate risk and make the most profitable choices.

Cleansing and aligning all of your data, however, is often not enough. Without the appropriate governance policies, procedures, and guidelines also in place, clean data will not usually last very long. That is why a strong master data management program must include data governance principles and processes.

Luckily, there are companies that can help in this important endeavor. 

The Benefits of Adopting a Data Management Strategy with Xtivity

Collecting and organizing your inventory, asset and supplier data can be made a lot easier with the help of companies like Xtivity.

Xtivity helps drive success especially in asset-intensive industries, and data management is just one part of their multi-pronged approach. Xtivity can assist in the realms of:

  • Inventory Management
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Procurement
  • Master Data Management
  • Supply Chain Governance

At the center of Xtivity’s offerings are their cloud-based MRO inventory management tool called Pulse, which helps drive informed decision making, delivering optimized parts ordering recommendations, factors in lead time calculations, and provides detailed information that buttresses your entire replenishment process. 

Not only that, it helps track information across multiple sites, and helps leaders better visualize the connection between your parts, assets and work orders. By exposing key data trends and unearthing valuable insights, Xtivity’s clients are able to better manage the thousands of necessary parts for their respective operations, streamlining work, improving productivity and limiting equipment downtime. 

Through easy-to-use reports and customizable dashboards based on prescriptive analytics, Xtivity helps you leverage your data, and the key to that is starting with a clean and accurate master data management strategy

How Xtivity Can Help: Master Data Management Tailored to Your Business

Because the adoption of a master data management strategy can be complicated, Xtivity also offers a Managed Service, a team of MRO experts that assists you throughout the adoption process.

Properly processing your data requires that the information is first organized and standardized. Xtivity generally begins by identifying the current state of your data integrity, discovering what opportunities exist, and where it would be best to focus attention in order to generate the most impact on improving your master data quality.

This means removing unnecessary data silos, identifying duplicate data, establishing best practices, and many other important improvements. With the right master data management tools and data governance in place, including data cleansing tools, descriptive taxonomies and visualization tools, Xtivity will help you improve and maintain the quality of your data.

Want to learn more? Reach out by phone or email to learn more about Xtivity’s solutions, technology, or have any of your questions answered about how an MDM strategy might work for your business.