how to avoid master data mayhem in seven easy steps | More4apps

How to Avoid Master Data Mayhem in 7 Easy Steps

After working in the Oracle space for 21 years, I know the fall out from lack of master data management can be absolutely devastating. We commonly refer to this fall out as master data mayhem as the effects are systemically damaging. And what’s worse is that master data mayhem can happen to any company. That’s why I came up with 7 handy tips to empower any organization (no matter their industry) before disaster strikes.

Step 1: Do a data audit for discovery

  • This is like taking inventory but for your data. It’s integral to start here as you never want to speculate with data and you “don’t know what you don’t know.” 
  • Start by finding your single point of truth and go from there. How many customers do you have? How many emails do you have etc? If you don’t have a single point of truth, then you should definitely make this one of your top goals for your master data plan.

Step 2: Set clear goals for success

  • Master data management can be a large undertaking so it’s important to stay organized. Don’t just set goals, create benchmarks. Make sure all of your goals are measurable, bound by time, and make hierarchical sense in terms of company priorities.
  • Your individual initiatives (see Step #3) should stem from these goals Sometimes it’s helpful to think of initiatives as reverse engineering. In other words, if one of your goals is to clean up your store locator data, one of the initiatives that enable you to achieve that goal would be adhering to a strict naming convention when it comes to defining locations.
  • Each goal should have a few initiatives attached to it that support its achievement.

Step 3: Define ownership of initiatives

  • Delegate who will tackle which initiative and who is the team lead for each area. It’s important that the team have one person in charge to keep efforts moving.

Step 4: Share or Create an Information hub for your Team

  • An education hub is great for transparency and implementation so that people understand the value behind the project. Team members are more likely to adopt new practices or push harder towards goals when benefits have been clearly defined by the company.
  • If you don’t have a hub already and don’t have the bandwidth to create one, that’s completely okay. In fact, there’s an array of moderately priced and even FREE learning hubs online (including our free version here). Find the one that meets your org’s needs and start sharing.

Step 5: Get Executive Sign Off

  • Having an executive’s blessing gives your master data plan the legs it needs to ensure the plan not only gets up and running but that it also stays standing even when other priorities start to crop up.

Step 6: Keep the Big Picture in Mind

  • Master data management is ongoing so make sure your plan and goals are aligned accordingly. This can’t be a “band-aid” solution. It must be long-term and sustainable. Speaking of..

Step 7: Remember: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

  • Don’t bite off more than your company can chew. Typically, it’s best to choose 2 master-data-management goals to tackle per quarter to ensure that you are not burning your team out and that you are doing the work correctly. Remember, the last thing you want to do is create more work for you and your team.
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