Getting a handle on all the data that flows through your business and making sure it's all clean and accurate can be a daunting challenge, especially if you have globally dispersed business units, each with its own software applications. But, as more manufacturers ramp up operational excellence initiatives and deal with global regulatory issues, they are finding that a data governance strategy is essential to ensuring consistency across the enterprise.
And, increasingly, manufacturers are making master data management processes and tools a major part of such a data governance strategy. MDM, which essentially describes an ongoing process for reconciling and managing enterprise-wide data, can be hard to wrap one's head around. That's because the discipline often involves more than one type of technology. More and more, however, it's gaining mind-share among manufacturing business executives as well as IT types, experts say.
Research firm Aberdeen Group has found that as many as 98% of companies struggle consistently with data integration, quality, and communication issues. The firm also says that, regardless of whether companies have formal MDM plans or initiatives in place, many are striving to achieve the elusive goal of establishing a "single version of the truth" from multiple, disparate data sources.