Master Data Management Offers 360-degree Customer View

Successful CRM optimization will require a commitment to Master Data Management according to a recent press release from Gartner Research. In fact, Gartner goes so far as to say that CRM leaders who fail to invest in MDM will suffer up to 25 percent loss in potential gains by 2017. A thorough commitment to MDM will require a disciplined integration of technologies that will give companies a holistic, multichannel view of the customer’s activity.

Master Data Management (MDM) gives businesses a single view of the truth that utilizes processes, policies, standards and tools to create a single point of reference. The technology involved supports MDM “by removing duplicates, standardizing data (mass maintaining), incorporating rules to eliminate incorrect data from entering the system in order to create an authoritative source of master data.” [1]

“This single or ’360-degree’ view of the customer requires that all the operational master data pertaining to the customer — and often to product and service as well — be combined from all of the data silos where it currently resides,” said Bill O’Kane, research director at Gartner. “This data is then checked and cleansed for duplicates while selecting the highest quality values across all data sources for each master data attribute. The result is a ‘single version of the truth’ for the master data that can then be integrated in different ways with those remaining data elements specific to transactions and interactions in the operational systems.”[2]

A unified picture of all levels of customer contact can help business leaders begin to grasp patterns of behavior. For instance, businesses can more effectively identify customers who the company is at risk of losing. In turn, the company can respond with effective engagement that can retain customers.

“In this scenario, customer segmentation becomes far easier and more accurate, giving organizations a better understanding of their customers and their likely patterns of behavior,” said Kimberly Collins, research vice president at Gartner. “Moreover, the MDM hub can be used to support these operations during real-time customer interactions, as well as to accurately populate analytics platforms — such as data warehouses or data marts — to support larger scale customer analysis efforts.”

Using MDM hand-in-hand with big data sources from social networks to develop strategic campaigns, product planning, and segmented engagement with potential people most likely to become a customer. This in turn can help business investment more effective in targeted/niche marketing with high impact results.

As business continue to develop robust CRM systems, it is essential to combine that development with robust MDM solutions that can lead help business effectively leverage the information they know.

[1] Master Data Management. Wikiepedia.
[2] Janessa Rivera and Rob van der Meulen. “Gartner Says Master Data Management Is Critical to CRM Optimization.” February 20, 2014.

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