Master Data Management

How to create one single source of truth for customer, product and master data. Learn everything you need to know about Master Data Management.


Many companies in different industries are facing challenges related to managing their business data. Hence, business data can be an untapped resource that can potentially deliver business value.

Managing your data impacts your finances, processes, customers, suppliers and products. With Master Data Management (MDM) you define, manage, centralize, organize, categorize, localize, synchronize and enrich master data. This allows you to create a single source of truth that is accessible to both internal and external stakeholders.


What is MDM?

Master Data Management (MDM) is the process of collecting, managing and publishing of master data according to your operational, sales, marketing and business strategies. It is a strategy and method to link all your critical data together in one single place.

With master data management you can centralize, categorize, localize, synchronize and enrich your master data. This can include information about products, customers, suppliers and employees in addition to other information sources that fuel your business.

The efficient management of master data in a central repository gives you a single authoritative view of information. This eliminates costly inefficiencies caused by data silos. MDM also supports your business initiatives through identification, linking and syndication of information across products, customers, stores/locations, employees, suppliers, digital assets and more.

Master Data Management can be used in multiple domains. A solution that covers multiple domains is called a multi-domain MDM. Key domains within MDM are Product Information Management (PIM), also referred to as Product Master Data Management (PMDM) and Customer Master Data Management (CMDM).


Many companies in different industries are facing challenges related to managing their business data. Hence, business data can be an untapped resource that can potentially deliver business value.

With Master data management (MDM) you define, manage, centralize, organize, categorize, localize, synchronize and enrich master data. This allows you to create a single source of truth that it is accessible to internal and external stakeholders.

Without a solid MDM strategy and solution in place, data challenges will arise. For example, different sources of the same data, manual actions, inconsistent data pushed to different channels, etc.

Challenges MDM solves

Focusing on customers is the basic idea of Customer Experience Management (CXM). The aim is not only to satisfy customers, but to inspire and emotionally bind them in the long term. CXM does not only exist of a marketing or service discipline. It is a holistic orientation of all company activities to the needs of your customers.


Read more about MDM's role in customer experience ➔

Often, multiple data silos are present within an organization. When a group within an organization has its version of a data source which it uses and manages but not shares with other groups or departments, we call this a data silo. Having data silos within your organization can be very bad for your operations. It is inefficient, highly error-prone, leads to frustrations and can end up in a costly situation.

Data quality describes the correctness, relevance, and reliability of data, depending on the purpose that the data is intended to fulfill in a particular context. Data Quality Management (DQM) as a discipline of data governance is crucial for your business.

  • 30% of our produced data contains errors
  • 3,5% of turnover is yearly lost due to inefficiencies in the supply chain
  • Our customer data sets include 20% duplicates and 30% has gaps


Advantages of MDM

MDM connects, manages and shares data between all your systems, including ERP, CRM and e-commerce. This gives you a 360° view of your information and enables you to know everything about your customer’s buying history, your product stock and the interaction with suppliers.

  • One single source of truth of your data
  • Break down data silos
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Improve collaboration and flexibility between internal and external users
  • Enhance customer experience
  • Save resources and time
  • Reduce errors and mitigate risks

MDM delivers business value by:

  • Shortening time to market
  • Selling more at higher margins
  • Reducing returns
  • Increasing customer satisfaction

MDM delivers operational efficiency by:

  • Increasing data quality
  • Easily maintaining your data
  • Optimizing business processes
  • Decreasing data related costs

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How MDM solves your challenges

In order to generate business value, you need the right setup, the right data model, a powerful organization and the right business processes. But how can MDM solve your business challenges, reduce your time to market and increase your data quality? 

A master data management solution is the system that allows you to unlock the benefits provided by integrated, accurate and complete data available to all your internal and external stakeholders. It allows you to collect, enrich and process the data to then manage its use in different channels or applications.   

A feature-rich master data management system helps you to create a single source of truth of your master data, leading to fewer errors and less redundancy in business processes. It can be easily integrated and provides accurate and consistent data across multiple channels. Data onboarding, golden record creation, localization, business rules, workflows, PLM, etc. are all features that can be unlocked to support your data management.

By eliminating data silos. Easy integration to provide ready-to-use, up-to-date data to third party systems and channels.

By eliminating data errors and duplicates with a single data overview. Create a golden record of multiple data sources.

Discover actionable insights and support solid decision making through efficient processing of accurate and timely data.

Rich and consistent data improves customer experience. Enhance omnichannel and e-commerce efforts.

Read more ➔

How to structure your data

Before you can start collecting, enriching and publishing your data, you need to think about how you want to organize your data. You'll need a main product data structure to easily manage your data. Additionally, there is often a need for alternative product structures (or classification) to support the synchronization between standard classification systems and data pools like ETIM, eCl@ss, GDSN (GS1), etc.

How MDM supports your daily business

Master Data Management (MDM) is the core process to define, manage, categorize, synchronize and enrich master data according to the business needs. MDM centralizes all the critical data in a central repository to provide a single source of reference. Through identification, linking and merging of information across all data sources, data is identified, collected, transformed and repaired. This way, MDM feeds business initiatives and processes with accurate, consistent and up-to-date data throughout the organization.

Find out how MDM supports the Manufacturing and the CPG industries.

The difference between PIM and MDM

Within the digital transformation, many manufacturers and wholesalers engage already in the field of Product Information Management (PIM). PIM systems are now catching the attention of business owners and managers. As business rapidly changes, data is key. But not only rich product data is relevant for business success. Other data domains such as suppliers, vendors and customers should also be considered. All the dots must be connected to ensure operational excellence. Your business can grow by expanding your single domain product data-driven MDM into a multidomain MDM. 

Manage your data with MDM and secure your business success

With Master Data Management (MDM) you define, manage, centralize, organize, categorize, localize, synchronize and enrich master data. While MDM provides many business benefits, it only manages a single area of the company’s data. MDM does not represent a full governance company-wide program. In general, data governance is the organizational basis for introducing Master Data Management in the company successfully. The relevant roles, responsibilities and processes must be defined and managed.


Read how to get started with Data Governance ➔

Marketplaces are rapidly gaining ground within e-commerce. When people shop online, more often than not, they start their search at a marketplace. The amount of online marketplaces has, therefore, exploded over recent years.


As a retailer or brand, marketplaces come with an enormous possibility to widen your horizon and sell to people in different parts of the world. But even if you are less ambitious, it will be hard to run a successful business in the future without selling via marketplaces. As marketplaces are gaining online ground, it is no longer sufficient to have your webshop or website.


Read how to get started with Marketplaces ➔

By now, you should be convinced that having a PIM or MDM solution is a necessity rather than a commodity. The next logical step would be to implement a PIM/MDM solution within your organization. But that’s easier said than done, of course. You'll probably ask yourself questions like what are the next steps and how do I select the right solution? What are the changes required in my organization?


Read how to find the best MDM solution ➔

Get Started

Do any of these questions below sound familiar? Or are you currently stuck on deciding what would be the optimal approach/next step with MDM?

  • How do I get started? 
  • Where am I now and what is the next step?  
  • Which supplier and product am I going to choose? 
  • How do I know if I'm on the right track? 
  • Do I have the right people and know-how in place?

MDM Checklist

Before considering an MDM solution, it is necessary to assess the readiness of the organization. To determine where you are today, consider the following MDM success factors.

MDM success factors

  • MDM is a concept, not a product – But the product has to support the concept.
  • MDM is strategic - and therefore needs management focus.
  • Focus on the business - changes in data governance organization and processes are required and should bring added value.
  • Do not underestimate the internal effort - MDM is strategic and touches your entire organization, budgets are needed for people and technology and address value, not costs.
  • Choose the right partner - No need to start from scratch! Having a reliable partner which can assist you by sharing expertise, learnings and best practices from other projects can be valuable.
  • A solid MDM business case to lay the financial groundwork and find the internal support.

Building a MDM Business Case

Build a solid business case for MDM with Gartner's framework in 8 steps. Learn how to establish the right KPIs, model the Total Cost of Ownership and calculate the potential ROI of MDM for your company with 3 key financial measures.

Download now →


MDM: The SQLI approach

We help your organization to successfully adopt MDM throughout your business. Digital at heart, we help build, continue and evolve your business digitally from strategy to execution. Scalable to grow, fast and secure. You’ll find in us a long-term reliable partner that focuses on your digital success. We always deliver. 

Check our Master Data Management Services ➔

With our full-service MDM practice and the best experts out there, we don’t only implement technologies but also think business and assist companies in their change. We help our clients through their MDM journey and finish it successfully. From data management, data modelling, data workflows, data quality, integration and architectural consultancy, to print and DAM. We have more than 20 years of solid experience in delivering MDM/PIM solutions in a wide range of organizations and markets. We know what it takes to make MDM work for you. As your trusted partner, we aim to build an informal, personal relationship in which we are both dedicated to your digital success.

Build relationships with vendors and external partners

To provide a single point of contact (SPOC), we work closely with solution vendors. This way, we not only ensure a successful MDM implementation and integration with your existing systems but also focus on clear business results and positive outcomes.

Change management

We focus on making MDM work for you. We understand that each organization has a different background and different organizational needs when implementing MDM. As an experienced e-business partner since the ‘90s, we can provide you with best practices, business verification of existing functionalities, on-the-job training for your employees and an integrated approach and governance.

Business and technical consultancy

At SQLI, it’s always business first. We’ll look from your end-customer’s needs to your organization’s ability to meet those needs. With an entrepreneurial mindset we zoom in on your specific challenges and then at the business, organizational and technological changes needed.  

Solution implementation

We successfully implement the right MDM solution that your organization needs to meet your customer and business expectations. We are specialized in the following solutions: Informatica, Contentserv, Stibo Systems, inRiver, Celum, Channelengine, Talend, Lobster, SAP and WerkII.

Digital continuity

Through our Digital Continuity practice, we offer hosting, maintenance and support solutions to ensure your digital growth and continuity.

Data Management

Our Partners

Request MDM / PIM Assessment

Get a solid start with an 1:1 in-depth assessment with our experts to find out the right approach to implement MDM/PIM solution in your business. Get in touch.

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