Data is the raw material of the 21st century. It is the foundation and driver of the digital transformation and forms the basis of value creation in our post-industrial economy. The more dependent we become on data, the more important the quality of this data becomes. As the volume of data available increases rapidly, the small subset of relatively constant data known as master data plays a special role.
Master data is that component of a company’s data that remains unchanged over a long period. There is master data on products and articles, on finances, on customers, and on suppliers. It is a major determining factor in customer satisfaction, personnel management, and, ultimately, business success. Ideally, master data is robust, reliable, and up-to-date.
However, only 15 percent of all companies are satisfied with the quality of their master data. Master data, therefore, has a special role in creating the conditions that enable companies to employ the “raw material of the 21st century” effectively to support their growth.
Companies have been investing in software solutions designed to optimize their master data management for years. But while high investment in these technologies was necessary, it would seem that companies have neglected to change their structures and processes so as to enable effective master data management. As the saying goes, “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” Does that not call into question companies’ digital transformation as a whole, as well as the entire development toward Industry 4.0, Logistics 4.0, the Internet of Things, and other digital business models?
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