Data has become one of the most important resources in the world. The cliché is that it is the new oil, meaning that data will be more valuable and significant than fossil fuels and other resources.
This is because data is what fuels the technological world. Tech companies utilize data to market their business, learn about their customers, find new target demographics, inform their company, and come up with new products and services. While data is complex, varied, and nuanced, master data management is the most important thing to focus on.
Master data is the sum of all the important data that you use and analyze. It is also known as the information management discipline, which offers great opportunities for data quality.
While master data is made of rudimentary forms of data, which is then put into analysis with software systems, the sum of their uses is the most important part.
To properly manage master data, it is important to understand the pieces of information, how they relate, and the different ways you can use it to progress and grow your business.
Transactional data is just that, transactional. This data is about business transactions that have historical and future significance. Often related to systems transactions such as sales, invoices, deliveries, and claims.
They can be both monetary and non-monetary interactions that are needed to be analyzed by other systems. Unit-level transactional data uses master entities but is instantaneous, unlike master data.
Metadata is often overlooked. It is essentially data about data. Describing the information about data points, it can come in many forms.
Whether it’s XML documents, reports, database descriptions, log files, and configuration files, metadata can be very valuable and useful. Not only will it provide the necessary information, but the information also offers new ways to utilize the metadata.
Coming from a variety of sources, unstructured data is internet information you can use to your advantage. This is data found in places like emails, magazine articles, product specifications, marketing information, and PDF files. While disorganized by nature, if you use unstructured data you will be able come up with new creative ways to utilize it.
Hierarchical data stores the relationships between other data and could be stored as a part of an accounting system or separately as descriptions of tangible company organizational structures or a product line. Sometimes considered “super MDM”, hierarchical data is crucial to understanding the relationships between master data.
Finally, reference data is a specific kind of master data that is used to organize other data and relate to information beyond the business. It can be shared across transactional or master data, which goes beyond currencies, time zones, and even countries. Reference data is also referred to as external data.
Master Data Management (MDM)
Since there are so many different types of both rudimentary and master data, master data management (MDM) is necessary to get the most out of it. MDM is the way that you can most effectively narrow down the information and analyze it to better your business.
You will find new ways to market your company, discover new product and service ideas, and find target demographics you never knew about.
The beauty of master data management is that it is just the beginning of data use and value. You can manage and analyze your data with software systems, but you can also sell the data you don’t need to other companies. The morality of this issue is dependent upon how you acquired the data, but there is no doubt that it is very lucrative.
Data will continue to change the world in a variety of ways. If you are involved in any tech-related business, whether it’s social media marketing, an innovative app, or another online business, interacting with data is paramount. Use data to grow your business, change your model, and market to the right people.
There is no end to the many uses of data. Nobody knows how the vast amounts of information on the internet will evolve into the future, but one thing is for sure.
You should use master data management to improve your business and work towards expanding beyond your current model and products. The information will help you thrive.
Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has written about tech for a wide variety of businesses.