Just mentioning master data management (MDM) will cause businesspeople’s eyes to glaze over and most IT folks to run for the hills. Why does MDM create puzzlement and apprehension? The principal reason is that they need an IT buzzword dictionary to interpret the rather lengthy and complicated definitions. Despite the inherent reluctance, a successful MDM program needs businesspeople to understand it, sponsor it and commit to being part of the solution, along with IT to design, build and deploy it. And before any of that happens, you need to have a two-way dialogue about it.

Before you start discussing MDM, you should target your audience. For businesspeople, never start the conversation using the MDM terminology, at least not if you wish to have a discussion rather than a monologue. You need to frame your discussion in business rather than in technical terms. MDM is really a very simple concept to explain if you take this approach.

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