Tackling Your Data Strategy from the Inside Out

As organizations rush to achieve data transformation, a trend has emerged: too many people deploy technology without looking at how it will really help their business first. Yes, automation and transformation may be the end goal, but it’s essential to identify the business processes and problems that need to be addressed before implementing the technology.

In this week’s post, Comma Group joins us as we discuss tackling your data strategy from the inside out. As a strategic EnterWorks partner, Comma is presenting this week at the 2018 Engage User Conference in New Orleans, which brings together our valued MDM solution users and experts to connect, learn, and grow.

Tip #1: Quantify and Qualify Your Business Problems

When placed in ineffective business processes, a small blip in data accuracy can multiply to cause significant harm. Take the story of a Comma client with 1700 restaurant locations. One minor data discrepancy of chicken breast vs. chicken thigh escalated to a $30,000 loss for the company.

The fact is, organizations often only recognize problems with their data when they appear as issues with critical business processes. For example, product launch delays; content errors in catalogs; failed regulations; and revenue drained by cost and waste.

Deploying MDM to automate “as-is” operations can lead to missed opportunities for improved quality, cost, and outcomes. That’s why the first step for any Master Data Management program is to clearly identify the business processes that are impeded by the absence of a unified view of your data and information. Identifying these areas makes it easier to quantify or qualify the problems to build the business case for correcting them.

 Tip #2: Think Big, Start Small

Rather than taking on your entire organization’s data problems at once, it’s best to target the data gaps affecting only the initial processes you’ve identified.

Forrester Research points out that “the alternative is attempting to boil the ocean and trying to solve Customer, Product, or Financial data for all processes and decisions across the whole organization — too big of an effort, destined to fail before it starts.”

In most cases, starting with the most pressing problems will open the door for expanded use cases for your MDM solution.

Tip #3: Choose Your Champions

To ensure a successful MDM implementation, you need to find MDM champions who will drive the rest of the business to see the true value of the initiative. Morale and enthusiasm can often dip due to the time period of such an undertaking, so the right team of participants, champions, and supporters is integral to keeping this transformational ball rolling. Along with executive-level support and certain IT personnel, you should recruit those with the most “pain” who understand the value of data and how a single view (or lack thereof) impacts your business.

With the right group in place, you’ll be better equipped to:

  • identify and challenge the most crucial business processes,
  • embed the exact functions within the MDM implementation,
  • measure return on investment,
  • and push for continued change within other parts of the business.

In addition to internal champions, outside experts can help organizations overcome specific challenges and overhaul their data management strategy.

Comma Group seeks to help businesses implement tools and techniques that allow owners to access accurate, complete, and consistent data. The right MDM strategy should enable every department to make better decisions and, ultimately, drive success in your business processes. By combining MDM technology and a thorough digital transformation and governance strategy, Comma helps businesses create a master data solution that empowers every aspect of your organization.

To learn more, email info@nullcomma-group.com or info@nullenterworks.com.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.