Building a “Single Version of the Truth” can be more expensive than you expect, and documenting and measuring its ROI requires careful thought.
Good planning is more necessary than ever in an uncertain economic climate. The result of inadequate planning can be misdirected spending, chewing up valuable time and resources and then, six or twelve months later, having to go back and “right the ship”. And the second time around, the efforts are often overstaffed (to “make up for lost time”), while the organization as a whole might still be marching down the wrong path.
Master data management and data governance initiatives can have a disruptive effect on the organization, and the budget is often millions of dollars. Now the stakes are even higher, because in times of economic uncertainty, the pressure is on to “do more with less” and to take shortcut approaches for achieving corporate data objectives.
One such shortcut is to turn the MDM initiative into a “technology-only” project, perpetuating a “silo” approach to data and selectively purchasing the latest data quality or hub tools. This approach should be used with caution, because at the end of the day, data is still data, and without process and stewardship, even the latest technologies will probably fail to meet the intended objectives.
Because of the organizational effects (new processes, roles and responsibilities) in MDM and the budget requirements, our advice is to take the time for a readiness assessment, understand where on the maturity curve you are, see if your business drivers make a sufficient case, think through cultural issues, etc.
The results of an assessment may surprise you. Even with a strong business case and senior management buy-in, don’t underestimate the amount of preparation and time that a well conceived planning process for MDM and data governance will take.