Governing Master Data – A Data Steward’s Experience

Governing Master Data

As organizations grow, the need to govern master data grows. The growth of an organization often creates the need for additional downstream applications that need to consume master data. Manually maintaining master data in an ERP, as well as multiple downstream applications, can become cumbersome very quickly. This is when organizations will inevitably begin to consider the use of a single source master data management tool, such as Data Relationship Management (DRM). As a former data steward, I have seen this roadmap on multiple occasions. It just makes sense to find a central location to maintain your master data.

The next big challenge is how to address the process to change master data. In my previous roles, the process often included uploading requests to SharePoint or submitting Excel spreadsheets via email. The data steward would then combine the various requests and vet any unanswered questions prior to reviewing the proposed changes in a governance board meeting. Following the board meeting, final approvals were sent to the data steward for documentation. The spreadsheets and email approvals would be retained by the data steward for audit purposes. This manual process was ultimately time consuming and error prone.

DRG (Data Relationship Governance) is a component of DRM that is quite effective at automating the manual master data change process. This tool allows organizations to build custom workflows unique to their business needs and rules.

Below are some of the key features included in DRG:

  • Master data additions, deletions, moves, inserts, and updates
  • The ability to build complex workflows including multiple approvals and conditional routing based on a property or validation
  • Customizable tasks that can be tailored to each user group such as a requestor, a mid-level approver, and a final approver
  • The ability to apply validations to each individual stage of a workflow, ensuring each request conforms to business rules
  • Various approval types, review, enrich, or commit
    Alerts and email notifications
  • The ability to audit the requests from submit to commit

DRG has proven to significantly improve the master data change process. This tool allows businesses to efficiently submit, approve, and update DRM with master data changes while eliminating the need to maintain offline spreadsheets and approvals. A more streamlined master data change process removes unnecessary administrative tasks from employee responsibilities, providing an immediate return on investment.

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