Master Data Management: Turning the Ugly Duckling into a White Swan

Search “master data management” (MDM) online and you will get more than 60 million hits. Most hits are articles or whitepapers, mainly from software vendors. You will notice that many focus on confusion and negativity with titles such as 10 Misconceptions about MDM, Explaining the Complexity of MDM to Business Executives, Demystifying MDM, and my favorite, Why MDM Projects Fail.

Master data management is like the ugly duckling.

For years, MDM has been a technology struggling for recognition and acceptance. Software vendors and system integrators bear some of the blame because they have treated MDM as a technology project rather than a business transformation imperative. At the end of the day, the value of MDM has not been well communicated.

In the life sciences industry, transparency reporting and IDMP (Identification of Medicinal Products) regulations have clearly set up the need for the long-coveted “single version of truth” for customer and product data. The fact is no business sponsor will sign off on a MDM project for its own sake. In order to turn our ugly duckling into a white swan, there must be clear business benefits from MDM projects.

So first let’s go back to basics.

What is Master Data Management?
Master Data Management is a mindset based on the fact that data is a corporate asset and mission critical to all business functions. It enables the business to work efficiently with good, unique, controlled and shared data. MDM is enabled by technology but is more than technology. It encompasses resources dedicated to managing master data and enforcing business rules, as well processes for accessing, controlling, remediating, and distributing the data.

The challenge is that data is everywhere – often fragmented, duplicated and inconsistently formatted. Just as procedures and policies exist for other corporate functions such as finance and human resources, a governance standard must be set for data. MDM provides the foundation for such governance.

Why Do Life Sciences Companies Need Master Data Management?

Organizations use on average 36 different data-gathering systems and vendors for marketing efforts, according to Forbes Insights. This finding explains why 83% of companies struggle to link customer information across channels, as indicated by Experian.

Data silos built over many years and/or gained through acquisitions and mergers are roadblocks to any customer centricity strategy or regulatory compliance. How can life sciences organizations comply with transparency requirements without having one single view of healthcare professionals? How can they identify and maintain affiliations between healthcare organizations and physicians? How can they centrally manage and provision customer preferences and privacy?

How Can Life Sciences Benefit from Master Data Management?

Addressing the right healthcare professional, at the right time, through the right consented channel, and for the right indication requires reliable, accessible customer data. By efficiently managing master data, life sciences companies can use their sales and marketing budget more effectively by having more targeted discussions and campaigns.

To bring the value of master data management to life in real world examples, we will present a series of use cases. We will show you how MDM can make field sales representatives happy and productive.

Stay tuned for the first part of the series.