Master Data Management

"Master Data Management is the practice of defining and maintaining consistent definitions of business entities and their inter-relationships … then sharing them via integration techniques across multiple IT systems within an enterprise … and sometimes beyond to partnering companies or customer."

OK, that's a pretty technical definition, but it comes from one of our MD's own presentations on the topic.  It just needs a bit of context.

Let's try defining Master Data then (from the same presentation):

"Master Data is the persistent, non-transactional data that defines a business entity for which there is, or should be, an agreed upon view across the organization  … and the inter-relationship between those entities"

Hmm, interesting stuff (if you're in to that sort of thing), but let's try making it a bit more 'real' in the context of Finance EPM.

Master Data Management is about managing your (multiple) Chart of Accounts, Product Codes, Cost Centres, Legal Entity Structures, and their hierarchies, groupings and mappings thereto, including getting cross-organisation agreement about their current state and about authorising, managing and distributing future changes to them.

In our view (and experience), this is the most important of the largely ignored, overlooked, or 'parked in the too difficult bucket' topics that don't get dealt with properly in just about every EPM implementation we've ever been involved with.

We always advise dealing with it, early, and treating it as a business problem more than a technical one.

There are also some excellent systems around that can help.  Funnily enough, Oracle has one - it's now called Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management, which makes its true role not quite so obvious.  Before that, it was called Hyperion Master Data Management, or just MDM to its friends.

If it sounds like we're speaking your language, Please contact Nigel Dahl through LinkedIn using the button below, or call him now on +44 (0)7799 664165.

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Who's behind epmgurus?

Nigel Dahl

Nigel Dahl,

Managing Director of epmgurus, brings 30 years of diverse experience to bear in helping organisations and teams through change – of size, structure, systems, management or ownership.

Nigel has run, advised, supported or worked with Finance functions from one-person operations up to globally dispersed Finance departments of several thousand people. He knows what good (and bad!) looks like.

View Nigel Dahl's profile on LinkedIn

What is EPM?

Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is a broad term covering any business process that seeks to improve performance through a continuous loop of data collection, reporting, analysis and, most importantly, informed and targeted action.

In practice, Finance EPM is generally considered to cover at least Strategic, Financial and Operational Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting, Management Reporting (MI), Financial Consolidation, Statutory Reporting, Profitability and Cost Management, including Cost Allocation.