Why Being Agile Is Central to Customer Master Data Management?
Many business applications, irrespective of whether they are operational or analytical, rely heavily on data to serve their intended purpose. From managing customer account information to delivering personalized recommendations, the quality of the available data determines the accuracy and effectiveness of all these applications. That is where Master Data Management (MDM) comes into the picture. It helps eliminate data inconsistencies and create a unified view of the customer, product, vendor, and material data. Implemented properly, an MDM solution can help organizations strengthen enterprise architecture, support business intelligence requirements, increase operational efficiency, and enhance experiences across all touchpoints.
However, despite the obvious benefits of master data management, many organizations struggle to justify the value of their MDM initiatives. One of the primary reasons for this is the traditional time-taking approach to MDM implementation. It is not uncommon for traditional MDM projects to take as long as 12 to 24 months. Data on the other hand increases at an exponential rate within any organization. As a result, by the time the MDM implementation is completed, data either become outdated or gets altered. This particularly holds true in the case of customer data.
As the business requirements, as well as the customer data, is always changing and growing, creating a golden record cannot be a one-time activity. Furthermore, different business users may need to consume master customer data in different ways. As such, unless the survivorship rules (that define which values are selected to populate a single master record) are in sync with evolving business requirements, it can become very difficult to address customer expectations in an omnichannel environment.
So, what is the solution? How can organizations ensure the success of their customer master data management initiatives?
Agile is the way forward
Adopting an agile approach to customer master data management can resolve all the challenges associated with a traditional implementation. Instead of working as a project-based silo, the agile MDM approach follows the practices of agile software development and evolves with the business requirements. Providing business users access to composite and accurate master data view designed to address well-defined business objectives is always at the front and center of agile implementation.
Here are 5 reasons why adopting agile MDM is the best way to consolidate your customer master data:
1. Better collaboration
Agile MDM strategy makes it possible for all the teams and applications that use the customer data to refer to a single source. This helps ensure that data stays consistent and coherent, and all updates take place against this unique copy of master data. From opening or closing accounts across businesses to provisioning accounts and deriving customer insights for marketing, all teams are easily able to access one master record of customer data. All the teams always have access to the latest data, universal changes get updated automatically, and employees can work in collaboration with each other without worrying about information latency.
2. Enhanced consistency
In an agile approach, master data management is business-focused and aligns with clearly defined use cases. Being usage-driven, the data corresponds well with how various business users work with or use that data. For instance, in the case of eCommerce, customer profiles that are managed as part of master customer data can be utilized by various parts of their ecosystem like eCommerce platform, online marketing, payment gateway, shipping software, accounting software, inventory management system, etc. This ensures that data is always used in a consistent manner by all the stakeholders.
3. Improved ROI
The success of an agile MDM approach is determined based on actual value delivered to business users. Is the master customer data able to support business applications or not? How easy is it for business users to manipulate and consume data? All such parameters are taken into consideration. This association with direct business deliverables makes it easier to showcase the ROI of MDM initiatives. Also, improved quality of customer master data has a direct correlation with the ROI of MDM implementation as well. Through agile customer MDM, organizations can support marketing and sales teams in targeting customers in the best possible way and keep adjusting to their expectations, hence maximizing the ROI.
4. Reduced risks
Agile records have a higher success rate compared to traditional data management. Since it is driven by agile or evolutionary data modeling, which is carried out in an iterative and incremental manner, it lays special emphasis on data quality. Various aspects related to data consistency, accuracy, and usability are often tested with respect to different business use cases. Better quality data, in turn, leads to business risk mitigation. For instance, by de-duplication of customer records, chances of a financial loss occurring due to defaulting on a line of credit or loan (because of multiple profiles of a customer) drops tremendously.
5. Lean data governance
Unlike a command and control strategy that overtly strives to manage and direct development teams, an agile MDM strategy involves data professionals as active contributors in development teams. In such a scenario, the data management team is no longer a bottleneck which the development team is always trying to bypass. Instead, they start working together as one team. Lean data governance is all about allowing teams to select their way of working and educating everyone across the affected teams and departments. In the case of customer data, agile data governance becomes a key contributor to improved quality, better productivity, enhanced time to value, and greater customer satisfaction.
Agile MDM also gives you the ability to expand to new data domains at speed. This ability to quickly ingest new data sources coupled with the ease of model evolution for different business needs lets you scale at will.
Implemented properly, agile customer master data management holds the potential to unlock limitless possibilities for your business. With access to near real-time, always accurate, and consistent customer data across all applications, your customer service, sales, marketing, and core business operations teams can always stay a step ahead of customer expectations.
Pimcore’s Master Data Management platform supports agile MDM approach. With Pimcore MDM platform, enterprises can manage any data such as product data, customer data, employee data, digital assets data, partner or vendor data, location data, reference data, and IOT or ‘things’ data. It is the leading open-source MDM platform in the market today.
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