Building An Effective Business Case For MDM

If you work in IT, you’re aware of the many problems and challenges that bad data can pose for your organization. You know that master data management (MDM) and data quality could address a lot of those issues and give business users the timely and trusted data they need to operate effectively.

Your IT team can map out a plan to implement MDM to support a number of business processes and operations. Most commonly we see three major types of MDM business cases:

But how do you sell your MDM vision to the decision-makers who hold the purse strings? Especially since “selling” is typically a skill that IT excels in but is critical to the success of an MDM initiative.

Making an effective business case for MDM requires communicating clearly in language the business speaks, not with lots of IT acronyms or obtuse architectural diagrams or terms like schema or logical data model. That means outlining the business impact of bad data—its lost opportunity costs, its drag on productivity, and the bad decisions based on it.

Conversely, it also means outlining the expected quantifiable and qualitative benefits of MDM in terms of productivity, operational efficiency, revenue, customer loyalty, risk mitigation and more. Business case development is both an art and a science, and should be understood at the outset of any MDM initiative.

We’ve seen a great deal of interest in making an effective MDM business case at our global Customer Data Forums, and now, in conjunction with Informatica partner Capgemini, we’ve just published a new whitepaper, Building the Business Case for Master Data Management: Strategies to Quantify and Articulate the Business Value of MDM.

Drawing on collective Capgemini and Informatica experience, this paper provides best-practice guidance, practical examples, pitfalls to avoid, and key considerations that MDM evangelists should keep in mind:

  • Tailor the MDM business case to three key focus areas
  • Outline the implications of bad data in business-relevant terms
  • Map the financial and qualitative impact of MDM on the business
  • Illustrate the business usability of MDM-aware applications
  • Start small, build a roadmap for cross-enterprise extensibility
  • Forecast ROI across a range of business scenarios

With competition fierce for IT funding and a lack of knowledge decision-makers have about the impact MDM can have on the business, it pays to nail your business case on the first try. If you’re considering making an MDM proposition, download the Capgemini whitepaper. We’d welcome your feedback in the Comments section below.

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