Most data integration projects mandate unique skill sets. Far too often, though, IT management reallocates resources from other projects or workgroups in order to accomplish these efforts. Such decisions are only as effective as the manager’s understanding of the discrete talent necessary to get the data integration job done. Master data management (MDM) - with its ability to address economies-of-scale issues around large data integration efforts - challenges the traditional “system at a time” approach typical of most data integration projects. Consequently, MDM development calls for a specialized combination of talent, requiring the team to not only have OLTP-based development skills but also data quality and content expertise.

As Jill Dyché and I described in our book, Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth (Wiley, 2007), MDM is the collection of processes, controls, automation and skills necessary to standardize and integrate subject area data originating from different sources. The implication is that the MDM team must bring a variety of skills to the program. The most successful MDM projects begin with the principles that:

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