Master Data Management

Master data management and business intelligence: A match made in data heaven

Billy Beane, a baseball team's general manager, must assemble a budget-friendly yet competitive team. This proves to be a difficult task given that good players are expensive and already signed up by affluent clubs. An epiphany inspires him to recruit Peter Brand, an Ivy League graduate, to help achieve his goal. Brand immediately gets down to business. Employing a data-driven approach and number crunching, he narrows down a pool of thousands of players to 25 that also include undervalued players. However, Beane and Brand recognize their hidden potential. The strategy pays off.

You just read the abstract of the 2011 flick Moneyball. The movie illustrates the wonders possible with data.

Data is the talk of the town. Referred to as the "new oil," it holds a wealth of information. However, it is scattered and fragmented—just bits and bytes floating around—and needs to be collated and tamed before it can be used. This is where master data management steps in.

Master Data Management(MDM)

MDM encompasses a comprehensive set of processes, policies and technologies that manage an organisation's critical data assets. These assets include customer information, product details, supplier records, employee data, and geographical locations. As the lifeline of an organisation's operations and decision-making processes, this data is commonly called master data.

The function of MDM is to establish and maintain a unified, structured, accurate, authoritative and consistent source of master data across different systems and applications within an organisation. This means the elimination of data inconsistencies and redundancies.

Think of MDM as a well-organised library with carefully labelled books and a catalogue that enables easy access and utilisation of data. In effect, MDM serves as the bedrock for business intelligence.

Imagine a charismatic business representative delivering a sales pitch. As the projector lights up, a vibrant dashboard comes to life with eye-catching graphs and visuals. This captivating presentation exemplifies BI.

BI involves the collection, analysis, and visualisation of data, transforming raw data into meaningful insights, trends, and patterns. It equips businesses to address crucial questions related to sales declines, excess inventory, and customer sentiment.

BI tools offer engaging dashboards, graphs, and reports that shed light on operational processes, market dynamics, and customer behaviours. This enables better operational decision-making and strategic planning and helps businesses spot hidden opportunities.

MDM and BI: The perfect match

Are you enjoying the meal? The credit is due to the high-quality ingredients and the skilled chef who expertly prepared them. Collaboration between MDM and BI is like preparing a delicious meal.

MDM plays a crucial role in ensuring data integrity, consistency, and alignment across various systems and processes. It sets the foundation for reliable and accurate information. On the other hand, BI tools leverage this robust data foundation to extract meaningful insights and inform decision-making. Together, MDM and BI create a powerful synergy that generates valuable insights and leads to favourable outcomes.

Industry applications

Here are some industry examples of how MDM and BI can be leveraged:

  1. Retail and e-commerce: MDM and BI play crucial roles in supporting retailers and e-commerce sectors across various processes, including product information management and customer data management.
  2. In product information management, MDM helps to establish a single source and consistency of product information, including attributes, descriptions, pricing, and inventory levels. On the other hand, BI tools analyse product performance, sales trends, and customer feedback. This enables data-driven decision-making regarding product assortment and pricing strategies.

    In customer data management, MDM helps to centralise customer data repositories and ensure that customer information, such as contact details, purchase histories, and preferences, is consistent across all systems and departments.  BI tools leverage this data to identify buying patterns, segment customers and personalise marketing campaigns, leading to more targeted and effective strategies.

  3. Financial services: MDM governs and consolidates customer data, account information, compliance data and financial hierarchies. BI supports risk analysis, regulatory reporting, fraud detection, customer segmentation and portfolio management.
  4. Healthcare: MDM enables accuracy and consistency of patient records, medical codes, provider information and clinical data. BI aids in analysing patient outcomes, disease patterns, resource allocation, operational efficiency and healthcare analytics.
  5. Manufacturing and supply chain: MDM helps manage supplier data, product information, bill of materials and manufacturing processes. BI enables supply chain optimisation, inventory management, demand forecasting, production analysis and supplier performance evaluation.
  6. Telecommunications: MDM assists in managing customer data, subscriber information, service offerings and network assets. BI enables analysis of customer behaviour, usage patterns, network performance, revenue analysis, and customer experience management.
  7. Energy and utilities: MDM is used for managing customer data, metering information, asset details and regulatory compliance. BI supports energy consumption analysis, demand response, predictive maintenance, outage management and sustainability reporting.
  8. Government and public sector: MDM helps manage citizen data, public records, land information and regulatory compliance. BI aids in performance monitoring, policy analysis, fraud detection, budgeting and citizen service optimisation.


The synergy between MDM and BI unlocks data's full potential. Accuracy, efficiency, economy, transparency, and goal alignment are frequently used terms in the context of business success. These achievements are realised through data-driven decisions and proficient tools that effectively manage and leverage data resources.

* For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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