When the master data management show rolls into an organization, a data quality program, targeted at the master data, is usually part of the effort. Typically, one of the first tasks of a DQ program is to establish a baseline measurement of the Master Data quality. Baseline measurement of quality involves profiling the data, which, in turn, requires the definition of business rules that specify the expected characteristics of the data.

Unfortunately, enterprises new to MDM and DQ can have difficulty defining business rules on their data, especially in cases where MDM is centralized at the enterprise level. This article will discuss some of the reasons business rules are difficult to define, then explore some basic profiling that can raise enterprise understanding of problems in the data and ‘start the conversation’ about business rules.

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