Is MDM and data governance interdependent: the most debatable question

CIO Review Europe | Wednesday, February 02, 2022

While the best practices in data governance and MDM are less than intuitive and, worse, still not adopted by the majority of programs, the good news is that they serve to keep the program scopes and deliverables to a manageable level

FREMONT, CA: Master data management (MDM) and data governance are now commonly recognised as interdependent disciplines. In other words, full success in one is nearly impossible to achieve without a large amount of implementation of the other. Data governance is, in a sense, MDM's "business function," governing how data is created, collected, and used. As a result, it should be placed in the business rather than in IT in order to maximise its strategic value. Attempting to put data governance within the technology domain exposes it as a possible source of IT overhead rather than the business opportunity generator that it should be. This may have the unexpected consequence of creating a new data silo in the form of the MDM hub or maybe combining low-quality data, both of which might have tragic consequences.

The establishment and confirmation of a specified and quantifiable set of agreed-upon business outcomes that result in a clear and achievable roadmap of technical and process enablement deliverables are still and always will be the initial best practice in the deployment of MDM. The importance of creating successful business cases, road maps, and revolutionary MDM programmes simply cannot be emphasised. According to the extrapolation of this technique that still appears to elude many firms, the same idea, and the same artefacts, should be used to organise and prioritise the adoption of the data governance discipline with, MDM.

 More senior business stakeholders are needed to help formulate the desired operational or analytical outcomes is the most common scenario that aids both of these initiatives to a good start. However, these business stakeholders are required to play significant roles within the newly formed virtual data governance organization.  The term "virtual" is used here in the sense that, at least in the beginning, every data governance member will most likely still have a "day job" until and unless full-time data stewards are seen to provide considerable commercial value. In fact, in many midsized and smaller businesses, this group is virtual for the foreseeable future.

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