Master Data Ownership - The Material Master Perspective

Master Data Ownership – The Material Master Perspective

Last week we covered one of our favorite subjects —the centrality and criticality of master data and who owns it within the enterprise. It’s a complex topic that deserves more attention. We’ll now dig deeper into the types of master data and focus on one specific kind — the material master.
Keep in mind, the term “master data” is all-encompassing and covers various types of data, including:

  1. Customer Master
  2. Vendor Master
  3. Material Master

Each one in this group of masters has unique characteristics and is created, owned, and managed by different functions in an organization.
Material master data stands out as the repository of knowledge on all materials that a company has in its possession.
Material masters are more complex due to three differentiating (and defining) characteristics:

  1. Fluidity of specifications: Even though people in the company are responsible for managing the data, the actual specifications contained in the description for any common material purchased is created by manufacturers. Since these specifications can be altered, the need to keep the data up to date (and the challenge of doing so) is much more important for material master.  For Engineered to Order or Manufactured to Order, the fluidity of specifications is a moving target, and one that is shared between the company and its supplier.

  3. Complexity: The characteristics also change depending on the material’s category, and this necessitates a more complex data management and governance setup.

  5. Overlapping: Service masters are invariably intertwined with the material masters of most organizations. This means more complications for IT and logistics, which will need to rely on subject-matter experts to simplify matters.

All of these complexities and potential complications make one thing clear. Material masters need to be owned by the business, i.e. the people who are intimately knowledgeable about it. They know how to best manage the data within the confines of the enterprise and they are incentivized to keep it current and credible.

We’ll continue the discussion next week with a look at material master data stewards and how to pick the right one.


Further Reading:

Blog – Data Stewards – The Caretakers of Your Data

White Paper – Improve Enterprise Data Quality through Master Data Management

Case Study – Implementing Master Data Governance for a Multi-National Sugar Refining Company

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Arthur Raguette

Arthur Raguette

Arthur Raguette is the Executive Vice President at Verdantis. Arthur is very passionate about the application of innovative technologies to solve real-world business problems with a strong emphasis on large enterprise solutions. He has more than a decade of experience of working with Software for Master Data Management and Data Governance for multiple domains and across industries. Arthur’s prior technology passions included high performance B2B middleware and hybridized SaaS applications for HR, Employee and Education related domains.

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