A large majority of organizations (83 percent in a recent survey) suffer from problems caused by poor master data, according to a report issued today by TDWI, the leading provider of research and training for data warehousing and business intelligence professionals worldwide.The report, based on a survey of 741 IT and business professionals, finds that the top three MDM problems are related to data warehousing and business intelligence: inaccurate reporting (81 percent), arguments over which data is appropriate (78 percent) and bad decisions based on incorrect definitions (54 percent). MDM problems also contributed to poor customer service (35%) and inefficient marketing (32 percent).

"The vast majority of users attests that MDM problems are real, numerous, and severe," says Philip Russom, senior manager of research and services at TDWI and author of the report. "The main reason that technical and business people should care about MDM is the long list of problems that occur when it's ignored."

The report shows that MDM is still in its infancy but is growing fast. Thirty-three percent of survey participants reported that their enterprise was either designing, implementing, or had already deployed a master data management (MDM) solution, while 46 percent stated that their organization was exploring MDM. Of those with an MDM solution in place, a majority (52 percent) have enterprise-scale MDM solutions. When asked about the possibility of realizing positive ROI with MDM, 48% of survey respondents stated that they believed this was achievable.

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