Master data management success factors

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I’m holding down the fort from my office in North Carolina wishing I could have made the Gartner Master Data Management Summit in Texas.  Is cloning the answer?

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever.  Business-side managers will enjoy the new track recognizing master data management (MDM) as a program that is for business and by business users.

With annual market growth rates expected for several more years, MDM is credited with enabling initiatives as far reaching as customer loyalty programs and corporate compliance.

Sadly, as with any new technology market, a smaller number of MDM customers will be wildly successful right away and a bigger number will be examples of, shall we say, how to approach MDM in a “different” manner.


If you are in that bigger number, you may feel singled out when I ask, “What level of involvement and planning went into data governance as you dived into your MDM plan?”

David Loshin’s 2013 white paper Challenges in the Effective Use of Master Data Management Techniques discusses ways to avoid failure. The tide is turning, but not without washing some MDM implementations far, far out to sea.

Over the past two Gartner MDM Summits, I appreciated it when new attendees came to the SAS exhibit booth asked us, “Can you tell me more about this data governance thing I keep hearing about?”  They were smart.

Others may have thought MDM would only require the technology investment.  After some sleepless nights, they soon understood that success with master data management requires involvement from their executives, business departments, and IT to formulate and agree on data governance policies that serve as data “lifesavers” the entire company uses.

On Friday March 22nd from 9:15-10:15 am CT, attendees will get many of their questions answered by speaker, author and consultant, Jill Dyché who is Vice President of Best Practices at SAS.

Jill will present "Your New Data Governance Playbook," to summit attendees, so take notes. With those bulleted lists you scribble down from your chair, you’ll be able to help your team launch your MDM initiative when you return to the office.  In April, Jill keynotes on big data at the Master Data Management Summit Europe 2013.

Stop by to say “hi” to my SAS colleagues during exhibit hours.  Share your plans for MDM, and consider ways data governance can ensure a wildly successful initiative.

Oh, and since cloning me before Gartner MDM seems unlikely, please press the comment button and share your ideas and questions now.  I promise, I’ll help.

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About Author

Todd Wright

Product Marketing Manager

Todd Wright leads Global Product Marketing for SAS Personal Data Protection and SAS Hadoop Data Management solutions. He works closely with the product management and sales organizations to create and promote materials that are relevant and valuable to SAS customers. Wright has 14 years of experience in data management software, including sales and marketing positions at DataFlux and SAS. Wright is instrumental in developing customer relationships and creating strategic marketing plans that drive awareness, consideration, education and demand for SAS Data Management. He received his business degree in Marketing from Western Michigan University.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Teachey
    Daniel Teachey on

    Good stuff, Todd. I've been attending MDM conferences since 2005, and it's always interesting how many of the conversations still come back to education. The difference now is that some companies are on their second or third MDM approach, and you're educating a whole new team chartered with finally making MDM work. As you point out, it's not the technology that's the problem - it's that MDM often uncovers processes and procedures that are broken, inconsistent and altogether confusing. Solving that is a longer, more intense effort, and it's not something most companies were expecting.

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