Do you find it better for companies adopting master data management to go with an enterprise-wide MDM implementation or deploy it departmentally? Or does it not really matter?

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I have two answers to that question.

First answer: I find it better to implement MDM enterprise-wide. That’s where companies get the biggest bang for their buck. Reconcile product data across diverse product catalogs and all of your suppliers? Golden!

Second answer: No one does that. Or at least, no one starts out that way. MDM projects typically start one system and one business problem at a time, and then branch out. Unlike business intelligence (BI) projects, where you’re usually developing successive BI applications, with MDM you’re progressively bringing on board new systems that need access to master data. So, truth be told, we’re slouching toward master data management one system at a time.

In both cases, the sooner you start, the faster you’ll succeed. Profound, huh?

This was first published in November 2010

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