Master Data Management in Adaptive Digital Enterprises

Has this happened to you? You contact an organization through a call center, they transfer you and ask for your credentials again – and then transfer you to other departments, sometimes back to the original department! As you get passed around, you realize some operators have your old address and other conflicting “data” about you. Often times, your customer experience depends on what channel you use. Sadly, this happens too frequently in many industries: the same customer, product or service has multiple and often inconsistent representation within the enterprise. Sometimes you might even get the same product cheaper depending on which channel you use!

Master Data Management (MDM) attempts to alleviate this. The MDM Institute defines Master Data as “the authoritative, reliable foundation for data used across many applications and constituencies with the goal to provide a single view of the truth no matter where it lies.”

Master Data addresses several business pain points. Here are few:

  • Inconsistencies and poor data quality results in poor, erroneous, and even risky decisions. The automated dynamic case executions are as good as the consistency of the data.
  • For customer, products, pricing, partners, suppliers, services and other Master Data shared across applications, often different siloed systems contain contradictory information about the same entity (e.g. wrong marital status). There is a lot of waste attempting to keep heterogeneous data consistent and of high quality.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions also create data consistency challenges – to have a single version of the truth about a customer or offering across the organization.

These result in customer dissatisfaction, churn, and a high percentage of detractors in customer experience measures such as Net Promoter Scores.

The Bottom-Up IT Approach for MDM

Often organizations attempt to address the MDM issues through “big bang” Master Data projects, tools, and I have even seen MDM centers of excellence for governance. The technology and data consistencies are formidable and important to address: data cleansing, addressing missing data, data consistency, ETL, data integration, to name a few. The danger is the enormous (hence the “big bang”) effort in normalizing master data without prioritizing through the business objectives. One common problem is that initiatives attempting to resolve Master Data challenges often do so in a silo.

Top-Down Digital Business Transformation Approach for MDM

The more optimal approach is to treat the MDM challenges as part of the overall continuous improvement initiatives, especially through end-to-end Dynamic Case Management solutions that cross silos touching and manipulating Master Data. This approach prioritizes transformational projects with MDM improvements while balancing risk against business value. The aforementioned technical database issues must be addressed. However, they are now driven by a “Think Big … But Start Small” governance first realizing quick wins, building or achieving the needed master data rigor, and then expanding with additional transformational solutions, which include MDM. The core to this approach is a DCM-enabled modernization layer that wraps and modernizes legacies.

Dynamic Case Management

Iterative and agile methodology for adaptive Dynamic Case Management solutions is an essential discipline for digital business transformation. The MDM governance and implementation can be embedded in the DNA of the case automation methodologies: discovering the data sources, optimizing the needed Master Data, and then continuously improving MDM implementation en-par with the overall business solution.

Now back to the aforementioned scenario of getting passed around aimlessly by the call center. With a modern digital enterprise DCM-enabled customer service and support solution with Master Data support, when you make a call and go through interactions you notice a couple of changes. No matter what channel or department you deal with, you get a reliable version of your data – as part of the end-to-end solution processing your requests. The user screens or people you deal with appear to be looking at your case consistently. Equally important is that the whole interaction appears simple, smart, and intuitive – whether you use the web, tablets or smartphones. Yeah, some digitally transformed organizations have already started doing this.


Dynamic Case Management (DCM) brings together people and information to get work done. Download Dynamic Case Management For Dummies now to discover how DCM can digitally transform your business.