Data Governance + Quality = MDM

road-to-damascusSt Paul’s epiphany on the road to Damascus was a defining moment in the history of the early Christian church.

This was the moment when Paul, the devout Pharisee and oppressor of Christianity was converted to become the early church’s biggest evangelist.

A recent planning session with a client, while not comparable in terms of global impact, delivered a similar insight and shift in perspective.

During a routine MDM planning session we broke our approach down into various streams, namely:

  1. Data Governance
  2. Data Quality
  3. Data Integration
  4. Master Data Management
  5. Data Architecture

We  then defined the high level outcomes for each stream – for example:

  • For data governance our high level objective is to Have the business take responsibility for data and put the processes in place to support this
  • For data quality our high level objective is to Provide data that is fit for purposes
  • For data architecture we ring fenced our view to focus on the architecture to support the client master – with various design objectives and goals.
  • For data integration our goal was defined as to Integrate and synchronise customer data from the source systems to the target MDM application

This was when the Eureka moment occurred for one of the senior IT managers present.

“If we get that right we have MDM,” he said. “We don’t need a separate stream!” [Tweet this]

That data governance and data quality are critical to successful MDM is well accepted.

Yet, in most cases these components get insufficient attention from IT who prefer to focus on the implementation of an MDM product.

This revelation was when IT shifted from the “implement a tool” mentality to the “create business change” mentality.

Our project has a long way to go and evolve. But this may well have been a defining moment in assuring its success.

 image sourced from