Who is responsible for the Master Data?

When talking to our customers regarding Master Data Management (MDM), the same question often comes up. Who is responsible? The truth is simple. As a general rule, the ownership is with the department that has most pain if the master data is not properly governed and of bad quality.

MDM is all about managing master data in multiple domains like Product, Customer, Supplier and Location. The initial amount of master data (attributes) that is properly managed per domain is most often somewhat limited: most companies start with only those attributes that either exist in multiple data silo’s and need to be synchronized or attributes that ask for additional management attention, e.g. for legal or privacy reasons.

Regardless of the data domain on which we zoom in, MDM always involves many stakeholders. By nature MDM is addressing the “data stored in multiple siloes” issues, no matter whether these siloes are system or departmental siloes.

The stakeholders for MDM are:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Merchandising/Category Management
  • eCommerce
  • Customer services
  • MDM department
  • CRM department
  • IT

Besides defining the overall ownership of data, it is also helpful to define the responsibilities on  a more detailed (attribute or group of attributes) level by means of the RACI. We see many companies still struggling with this. Most often this is due to the fact that they don’t split between the Responsibility (the function  responsible for executing the activities e.g. a copywriter writing a marketing text) and Accountability (the function that is overall in charge of a particular attribute or a group of attributes e.g. Category Management for product data)

Our annual Customer Data Management survey shows that the departments that have the greatest interest in the data, bear the costs and therefore also the responsibility. The overview above shows that Marketing is the main owner of customer data as well as of product data. In the PIM domain the data is however most often owned by a dedicated PIM/MDM department. In our 2017/2018 survey this was 32% whereas this was 28% two years ago. This MDM/PIM department reports however quite often to the CMO or Marketing Director, especially within retail organizations.

The ownership of product data differs from customer data where only 10% of the participating organizations said that this was managed by an MDM department. There are two main reasons for this: (1) the product domain in general is somewhat more mature from an MDM perspective than the customer domain and (2) it’s more easy to centralize the management of product data than of customer data.

Ownership is with the department that has most pain if the master data is not properly governed and of bad quality. Do you feel this pain? And do you want to discover insights that help you to ensure data quality and governance? Then feel free to take a deep dive in our extensive survey on Master Data Management (MDM). Or contact one of our MDM partners for more information:

Jos Schreurs (jos.schreurs@squadra.nl) or call +31 653352945

Roger Wegh (roger.wegh@squadra.nl) or call +31 654751271.

Do you have question about this topic?