How to Select an MDM Tool
In our eBook, The Clean Data Initiative, Master Data Management (MDM) is described as a technology driven discipline that allows companies to accurately combine data from multiple data sources. It is used to create the master definition for data domains and to drive the consistent use of high-integrity data across the company. MDM is an important step on your journey to clean data which is why we recommend leveraging the Sense Corp MDM Vendor Selection Methodology, a comprehensive process to evaluate and select an Master Data Management Tool:
- Gather Requirements – Business Requirements, Technical Requirements, RFP/RFQ/RFI
- Engage Vendors – Vendor Shortlist and Engagement, Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Evaluate / Select the Master Data Management Tool – Vendor Support/Demos, Scores, Pricing, References, Planning
- Negotiate the Pricing and Contract – Narrow Down Choices, Negotiation, MDM Finalization
These are four broad steps, but there are nuances in how each of these are executed. For example, leveraging business and technical requirements document templates makes it easier to document the RFP requirements. However, before sending out the RFP, you should know exactly who you want to invite to participate and ensure that a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has been signed with the vendors, allowing you to share details and even sample data to help with the process.
The Challenges of Selecting a Master Data Management Tool
One of the biggest challenges when working through the evaluation is making sure that there’s an unbiased representation of the various options. Time is needed to ensure appropriate setup and preparation of the demos. It is important to know how to score the vendors and understand the functionality that is the most important to you. Sitting through a generic vendor demonstration is of limited value. Your business and technical stakeholders need to make sure that the product will meet specific needs and address specific requirements.
Many companies simply determine the cost of the software and don’t give enough consideration to the overall implementation effort. Developing an implementation plan and cost estimates for the program is just as important as the cost of the software. Setting up the contract and negotiating to purchase the recommended MDM tool often takes much longer than expected. It is important for companies to consider the whole process and the cost that go along with it.
Master Data Management Tool Selection Next Steps
Below is an example of what the requirements might look like at a detailed level for an MDM tool selection effort:
Many of the MDM technologies will cover a broad set of capabilities. As you evaluate the technology vendors, begin with a clear understanding of your needs. This will allow you to purchase the right technology that will provide the right set of capabilities for your needs.
Sense Corp is a digital and data consulting company that provides insights and solution to help your company with transformative projects and services. To learn more about The Clean Data Initiative, download our eBook.