In the first of a series of his posts focusing on data management, our head of Data Management Practice introduces the concept of Master Data and subsequently Master Data Management.
What is Master Data?
A typical organisation will have multiple types of data flowing through it:
• Transactional data
• Analytical data
• Meta data
• Unstructured data
• Reference data and
• Master data
Master data represents the core Critical Data Elements (CDE’s) within an organisation that enables it to transact its business. The simple way to think of master data, is as the real world nouns we come across in the day to day operation of a business. They typically fall into the following conceptual groupings:
• People & Organisations
• Things and
Therefore, if master data represents the nouns, the corresponding verbs relate to the transactions. A transaction could for example be a sales order. A sales order will contain MASTER data describing; Whatis being purchased (things), Whois purchasing it (people and organisations), Whereit is being delivered to (organisations and places), Whois paying the bill (people and organisations). The sales order will also contain information the price of the goods, the quantities ordered, the VAT applied etc. All of the latter represents the TRANSACTIONAL data.
In his next post we will focus more on what Master Data Management (MDM) is and the benefits you can expect to realise through a successful MDM implementation.