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MDM / MDG / Master data management /Governance whats it all about ?!!

OK so first things first MDM and Master data management are not always the same thing similar but not the same. Often we shorten Master data management to MDM for speed afterall we love an acronym in business don't we ! However MDM is also the name given to Master data management software used to help businesses manage their master data or as add ons to the larger ERP systems. Master Data Governance and MDG are also not necessarily the same thing again Master Data Governance is often shortened to MDG but MDG can also refer to software solutons that help businesses 'govern' their data. So one reference is to the 'system' the other is to the 'practise of'.

There is a common mis conception that Master data management means the same thing to all people but it doesn't.

To me, because its what I do, Master data management refers to the processes, standards and policies a business environment applies to they way it manages it critical core data, and may also cover the Governance of the Master data. It doesn't matter what the system is, its about how the data is created, maintained and then made redundant. How the Master data is moved around an organisation and how that Master data is authorised and how the organisation is empowered to achieve the required standards. It's about taking each data object and breaking it down to exacting standards and defining ownership for this Master data information. The role might involve helping an organisation decide just how such processes might happen and who would be involved. How Master data quality will be monitored, measured and reported. Such a role will also get involved with troubleshooting master data issues.

To others Master data management includes the technical and architectural elements. Focusing on the configuration and design of an ERP system. How the Master data will be structured what Master data is required to drive the other functionalities of the specific ERP. Such a role might also need to consider Master data migration how data will be moved from one system to another, how master data will be interfaced between many systems. The role will focus on resolving more technical issues with the Master data. Often such a role has to also consider how Master data will be archived.

To others the focus of a Master data manager is more around information management. How the Master data is sliced and diced to produce reports and analytics for the digestion by the business community. Troubleshooting issues around inaccurate reporting through missing or inaccurate Master data or data as a whole. It is not uncommon for this role to also involve the business focused Master data role mentioned above.

So there is no blanket 'Master data manager' role each 'style' has its own purpose in an organisation but they are not necessarily always interchangeable.

With regard to Master data governance it seems that the lines are less blurred currently. There seem to be fewer providers of such solutions and roles for Master data governance personnel are fewer too leaning more towards 'stewardship' roles.