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Gaining business support for your MDM initiative

Highlighting the benefits of an MDM program from both technical and business perspectives is essential to gaining support for funding.

How can MDM project proponents gain the funding needed to get it off the ground?

MDM -- master data management -- is an approach to the management of commonly used data. That approach must start at the strategic level, as part of the development of an enterprise information management strategy. It should describe the vision for commonly used data (customer, product, location) and for all reference data. In addition, a strategy should outline the reasons for having an enterprise approach to MDM, the current challenges faced without an MDM approach and the benefits that would be realized with an MDM initiative. These challenges and benefits should be viewed from both technical and business perspectives.

The business case for an MDM program should be based on actual situations in which the organization either suffered a loss or could not gain an advantage due to a lack of managed master data. Was the company unable to close a big deal because it could not connect several divisions together to show that in total, the organization had spent much more money on products than anticipated -- and did they not get the "preferred company discount"? Is the company spending excessively and unnecessarily on postage for mailings to prospects with bad addresses, no intention to buy, etc.? Is the company paying fines for robocalling names on a prospect list that has never been synchronized with a "do not call" list? All of these examples can be included in a business case for MDM. If the sponsor feels sufficient pain from these costs, funding for the MDM initiative may be granted, provided the rest of the proposal is technically sound.

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