Who owns Master Data in your company?
I've had to respond to this question, inside and outside of the company,
in a number of different conversations over the past few days. It's
interesting, because this is one of those conversations where
mean a lot - what people say is just as important as what people don't
say. I only mean that people assume their listeners have precisely the
same understanding of the concepts - which is often a mistake.
Case in point - who owns the
? It seems obvious to many IT folks, having dealt with ERP and data
warehousing in the past, that the business owns the Master Data - it's
their business, right? Then why so often does the business look to IT to
take the lead on cleansing / populating / defining / loading Master
Business owns the Master Data
... they make the decisions on specifics. What should the next item
number be? How should we structure the routings? Who defines the
standards for bin / storage location / building / plant / campus
identifiers? What is the desired format for capturing customer street
addresses consistently? How will we set up the chart of accounts?
The business knows that
of Master Data.
On the other hand, and in most companies ...
IT pwns the Master Data
Yes that is the correct spelling. For those who don't know, it’s a
hacker term; when I
the system, I have a root, I have a system admin access. I understand
the technical underpinnings and details - I know how everything fits
together. I know how to do anything I want with the system.
In Master Data terms - IT understands the data architecture and the
interdependencies. They know all the transactions required to enter data
into the system, and what security roles are in place to limit access to
those transactions. IT also has tools and knowledge on how to extract
data from the database and batch import data en masse.
IT knows the
of Master Data.
What does that mean?
When an organization needs to get its Master Data in shape, it's going
to be a team effort between business and IT. The business must take the
lead, making and clarifying decisions and driving the details. But IT
absolutely needs to be right by their side, helping with the mechanics.