Master data management is a comprehensive approach using the people, process and technology in the enterprise to provide and manage a unified, consistent and accurate view of the master data. To successfully deliver on the promise of MDM, you must ensure that master data delivers to achieve the business goals. A successful MDM initiative will provide quality master data to upstream and downstream systems, including transaction systems, data warehouses, data marts and business intelligence, which in turn should help the enterprise gain trustworthy insight to solve business problems.

Starting down the path to MDM begins with an understanding of what constitutes master data. It is best understood in the context of the business processes. Master data is the core set of data elements used by the key business processes. Customer, product, material, supplier and financials all are examples of master data in the enterprise. You get the best definition when you put data in the context of the business operations. Master data impacts a wide range of business processes in the enterprise, ranging from BI to online transactional systems.

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