The first step of Master Data Management is identifying the most critical and important data for your company. Doing this step alone can help shine light within the organization on what is important. MDM can help prevent critical errors because, once controls and business rules are implemented on your critical data, you are less likely to make the mistakes of the past and you help yourself from preventing mistakes in the future. The company is now focused on its critical data, on keeping it clean and accurate, and this mentality is spread across the organization.
The task of identifying the most critical information should not be determined by just one person or one group. This task should be done with the help of people across the organization so that everyone takes ‘ownership’ of the idea that the end result had to do with research and work they put forth. It is important, with MDM, to play the political game so that you have support from others in the organization.
Next, Master Data Management can also help prevent fraud. With the passing of Sarbanes-Oxley which holds executives of public companies accountable for their financial statement, these executives have now placed pressure on the organization to get things right. For many companies, Master Data Management is one of the pieces for ensuring accuracy and preventing fraudulent reporting. Master Data Management creates the rules that would make it difficult to have false or inaccurate data. With the prospect of an executive going to jail should they have falsified financial reports, it is critical that these statements are correct.
Finally, MDM can be used to make your organization smarter and more flexible. By having accurate data for your most important information, you can be sure that your models, projections, and predictions are as accurate as they could be. If you feed bad data into your forecasting models, the results that are output are nothing that could be relied on. By starting with valid data you are much more likely to produce results that your organization can depend on.
There are many benefits to implementing data governance. MDM can help keep your CEO and CFO out of jail, it can help prevent critical and embarrassing mistakes, and it can help your company succeed and thrive well into the future.