Master data management is particularly important in today's increasingly complex and harsh global business landscape in part due to demanding suppliers, trading partners and customers as well as financial challenges and government regulations. Despite the current economic crisis, analyst firms have declared MDM to be recession-proof as businesses strive to dramatically reduce costs, meet compliance reporting mandates, deliver increased sales and marketing effectiveness, and provide superior service to customers and suppliers. MDM and its variants - customer data integration, product information management and data governance - all significantly contribute to these tactical business priorities.

Capitalizing on MDM in tough times, however, requires an understanding of five key underlying business and technology trends. As a literary parallel, the unlikely heroes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy always managed to cope in a crisis ... eventually. In today's crisis, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect would face an intergalactic credit crisis involving such complex financial derivatives that even the infinitely powerful computer Deep Thought would be baffled - despite having already found the answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Our contemporary crises include the necessity to put our economic and organizational houses in order. What is our level of Basel II compliance and associated enterprise counterparty risk? Who are our most profitable customers? Which products or divisions are most unprofitable? What is the e-pedigree of key components in our e-supply chain? MDM is the answer, along with its derivatives CDI, PIM and data governance. 

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