How to Use Master Data Management to Future Proof your Business

Wondering how master data management can help your business remain competitive? Well, you’re in the right place. A Gartner survey found that organizations believe poor data quality cost them an average of $11.8 million in 2018. To overcome this challenge, executives are increasingly turning to master data management solutions to facilitate an enterprise wide single source of truth for critical data surrounding their micro and macro environment, customers, employees, products, and more.

During this post, we’ll dive into the basics of master data management (MDM) including how it’s used, who ‘owns’ MDM internally, and tips for implementing a centralized data strategy.

So, what is master data management?

Master data management is a technology-enabled method in which business and IT work in tandem to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, consistency and accountability of the critical data of an organization to provide, with data integration, a single point of reference.

When it comes to managing data, every organization has different preferences, but one thing they have in common is the need for all business functions to have access to a centralized visual hub that interprets big data in real-time.

How can master data management support my organisation?

Master data management solutions are used by countless global brands to:

1.     Visualize complex data with the aim of enhancing data-driven decision making

2.     Connect the dots between disparate data types and more easily spot patterns

3.     Align on key business drivers

4.     Streamline reporting

5.     Gain unprecedented cross-department insights that can help future proof the organization

Meltwaters Master Data Management

Let’s take a look at a handful of the use cases in more depth.

Real-time performance tracking

MDM assists businesses with presenting complex information in accessible formats through cohesive and interactive visual dashboards. Data management solution providers often allow you to create unlimited screens, customized by interest, so you can both see an overview of the data and drill down into insights if needs be. Since MDM is usually presented in real-time, visualizations change automatically in response to shifts in data. This means you can quickly access critical insights and signals for dynamic situational awareness, in-meeting answers, performance tracking and overall smarter decision making. By updating in real-time to provide accurate metrics, centralized data management ensures that you always know where you stand with regard to your KPIs.

Most MDM tools have link sharing function so executives can share real-time insights, metrics, visualizations, and personalized comments with anyone, from any device, anywhere in the world. This means your team are always in the know and can pivot strategies to ensure the brand remains relevant and competitive based on real-time data analysis.

Unify Data Sources

Centralized data analysis tools have the ability to gather data spread across your company, whether that’s from your own applications, third-party business systems, online news, social media conversations, job postings, financial filings, patent filings, product reviews etc. With the help from the right tools, data is brought together to visually tell the full story of your brand, competitive position, customer experience and more. Since solution are often customizable, they can be configured for a variety of use cases across business functions.

Business Critical Insights

Data doesn’t exist in a silo; if you treat it like it does then you run the risk of studying vanity numbers. Since data doesn’t exist in isolation, neither should teams. Master data management unifies sources of information to ensure you have access to the full picture. For example, while insights found via media monitoring are often used by marcomm professionals, this data can also inform core business decisions, beyond brand management such as creating competitive advantages through supply chain risk mitigation, optimizing processes, improving customer experience, spotting trends, and then some!

By combining internal and external data sources to understand both your position and competition, you can effectively eliminate blind spots and quickly spot developing threats and opportunities.

What tools can I use to support my MDM strategy?

Data analysis was traditionally something that kept professionals up at night, but thanks to advances in technology, there’s a plethora of MDM tools out there that take the headache of centralized data analysis away - one of them beingMeltwater Display. Our Master Data Management solution integrates data from Salesforce, Zendesk, and a variety of web analytics sources right alongside our media intelligence data, so you can sleep well knowing you have a complete 360° view of your brand and business.

With Display, you can create flexible and dynamic visualizations that tell real-time stories of the metrics and KPIs that matter most to your business, while adding context and insight. When launching this data management solution, our goals was to transform the news and social content your PR and marketing teams receive into a tool that can be used across the organisation to drive business success.

Who owns master data management?

As we’ve discussed, insights found from centralised data management can be used across all departments, however, it’s commonly ‘owned’ by C-Level executives such as the Chief Technology Officer, teams that head up digital transformation, and other senior decision makers interested in enhancing the richness of reporting and receiving business-critical signals so they can quickly make smarter decisions across the company.


Hopefully by now you have a better idea of what master data management is about. As with most things, it’s easier to show than tell, so if you’re interested in seeing what this discipline could look like for your company, fill out the form below – we’d be happy to show you!