What is Master Data Management?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Master data management is the ability to create a common link to all of the key data through the use of a master file. The master file, in turn, functions as a gateway to all the data as well as serving as a common point of reference in overseeing the use of the data. The use of master data management can help to simplify the process for sharing common data among several different departments or key personnel, eliminating the need for multiple copies of the same data to reside in several different locations around the network.

Master data management can also come in very hand with arranging access to files in more complicated environments as well. In the event that a corporation maintains a number of offices over a large geographical area, the use of MDM can help make the retrieval of data from any of the locations quick and easy. Often, this is accomplished by using encrypted login credentials that ensure the data is only available to those who require access to the master files involved. Using this model, it is possible for departments or offices to sync with the master file that is maintained on the corporate server and work with the files necessary to carry out their work responsibilities.


While the use of master data management will work for a business of any size, the real benefit is to larger corporations that maintain multiple offices or production facilities. Instead of each site creating and using separate key data, the master data management model allows everyone to make use of the same files. This helps to cut down on operational expenses associated with maintaining a network, eliminates some of the labor involved in distributing information, and in general leads to a more efficient working environment for all concerned.

The beauty of master data management is that master files can be established that provide wide access to key data, as well as master files that limit access to certain data. For example, master data management could be used to create a master file that allowed sales personnel to access accounting data about customer accounts assigned to each salesperson, while preventing access to sales figures related to clients who are served by other sales people. At the same time, a regional sales manager could have access through master data management to view the billed revenue generated by all the salespeople in his or her region. The corporate sales director in turn would have access through master data management to view information about each sales region and their level of productivity.


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