Why data portability is practiced by Best-in-Class companies

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Vice President and Principal Analyst, Aberdeen

This is the first in a three-part blog series exploring a Best-in-Class approach to MDM.

If you’re truly data-driven, how often do you make a critical decision based solely on information from one part of the company? At the organizational level, how valuable is data when decision makers have to rely on IT (not to mention a tangle of technical and bureaucratic red tape) just to access it? The answers to these questions are “Never” and “Not very”.

The fact of the matter is, if analytics are going to drive your organization forward, you have to make data, from all across the organization, easily available to anyone who needs it.

As it turns out, making data more accessible and portable across the company is a big reason why companies create a strategy for master data management (MDM) and invest in technology to support it. Of course, there is a right way, and a wrong way, to go about implementing and using these tools, and Aberdeen’s research reveals that top performing companies take similar approaches.

To understand what the “right way” looks like, it’s helpful to consider ways that the Best-in-Class differentiate themselves from All Others.

Figure 1: Empowering Users with More Accessible Data

The goal of MDM is to get consumable information into the hands of the people and the systems that need it. However, oftentimes this is easier said than done. Critical information can get trapped within the confines of different business functions or applications. Breaking down these “data silos” is, in fact, one of the main reason companies turn to business analytics solutions in the first place. Specifically, they hope that technology and efficient processes will mitigate or remove these barriers.

As an indication that more advanced adoption of analytics actually does break down data silos, Best-in-Class companies are 50% more likely than All Others to have processes in place that support widespread sharing of data.

Even if you have broken down data silos and created an integrated pool of enterprise data, all your work will be pointless if people can’t access it when they need it. As a first step, it’s helpful to have APIs and technology-based connectors that allow for the exchange of information between sources. Companies with a Best-in-Class approach to MDM, however, are more likely to actively support users when they are connecting to new data sources, as needed at the point of analysis, thus facilitating an effective analytical process.

Long story short, data accessibility and data portability are key to a successful MDM strategy. Gone unchecked, accessibility and portability can lead to issues with data integrity. In part two of this series we will examine how Best-in-Class companies handle these challenges.

Click here to download the Aberdeen report, Modern MDM: The hub of enterprise data excellence.