Today, enterprises are becoming more customer-centric and are trying to know more and more about their customer preferences by collecting all kinds of data from available sources. These data, essentially termed as ‘big data’, typically encompasses large volumes of texts and other forms of unstructured behavioral data from a variety of sources. Master data management (MDM) primarily revolves around the creation of a trusted source of highly structured data throughout an enterprise. Data management analysts see a better future for enterprises through better insight into their customers, when they use MDM and big data in tandem. Let us see what is driving this.
Big data tools enable the analysis of massive volumes of data from various sources, however, the real challenge is:
While big data is certainly an enabler in the direction of customer centricity, it alone does not serve the purpose. What is required is a combination of a strong MDM along with big data to outpace challenges and realize this objective.
Let us see how enterprises can leverage this combination of MDM and big data to build customer-centric strategies:
To address the challenges posed from using just big data, there comes the need for a strong enterprise level MDM initiative that has a bigger role to play in aggregating useful information from pools of data and then matching it against the master data spread across an enterprise’s transactional systems. Large volume of processed data start making more sense only when it is tagged and related to the master data entities of the organization.
Enterprises are starting to see the benefits big data and MDM together could bring. According to a survey result by The Information Difference Ltd. an MDM consulting and Research Company, 67% of survey respondents saw MDM driving big data, rather than the other way around, with just 17% seeing big data producing new master data, including the ability to use master data to automatically detect customer names in sets of big data. The most popular choice was for existing MDM data to help drive big data searches.
Essentially, the foundation needs to be laid by master data across a variety of sources that big data brings along. Enterprises will need to move from a single customer record to a single customer profile which will provide an impetus to their business goals. While analyzing big data to unearth findings and insights is important, doing that on clean master data across locations, products, customers, cost centers, plants and other important master data domains will provide the right direction.
So for those who want to invest in big data, pause a while and think again. Are you ready for relating data with master data entity in your enterprise? Will a big data strategy alone help you to understand customers better or would it be a perfect combination of MDM and big data?
Venkataraman Ramanathan- Senior Architect, Analytics Practice, Wipro, Ltd.
Venkataraman has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of MDM, DQ, Data Governance, CRM, BI and Java. He has been involved in various consulting and engagements across geographies for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. He is involved in the areas of customer re-engineering, machine learning, data quality, data governance, sales and service efficiency, business strategy and business analytics/intelligence