How can your organization begin to wrap its arms around master data management and data governance? The latest clues will certainly emerge at MDM & Data Governance Summit (Oct. 4-6, New York).

But even before that conference arrives, some MDM and Data Governance best practices emerged at our sister conference in San Francisco. Consider the situation atCargill Inc. -- the 150-year-old provider of food, agriculture, financial and industrial solutions worldwide. Armed with $134.9 billion in annual revenues and roughly 152,000 employees, Cargill leverages MDM best practices to speed decisions and squeeze costs out of its supply chain, according to Data Management Lead Brad Williams.


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Generally speaking, an MDM effort hinges on a clear data mission. In Cargill's case the data mission is "to treat data which has been defined as having significant value, as a corporate asset -- it is recognized across the enterprise as having real meaning, purpose and value."

From there, Cargill has eight MDM program objectives. They include:

1. All of Cargill speaks a common and consistent language regarding data and information terminology.

2. A reasonable level of standardization across the MDM processes exists.

3. MDM processes are handled consistently across the organization.

4. The MDM lifecycle is effectively controlled, while allowing for speed and agility. 

5. An organization is in place to make key, critical business decisions regarding the data. This organization is recognized, respected and utilized throughout Cargill.

6. At all times, the data is at a balanced level of data quality (cost to achieve vs. benefit realized). 

7. The master data enables effective decision making.

8. Data is a core capability of Cargill.

Through the following chart, Williams also revealed the present and future of Cargill's MDM strategy:

Those points and more emerged at the MDM and Data Governance Summit in San Francisco in July. Stay tuned for updated points from MDM and Data Governance Summit in New York in October.

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