Master Data Management
Reading time

Save costs and break down data silos with master data management


The entire company benefits from reliable, correct and unambiguous master data at a central point instead of distributed in data silos. The game changer is a holistic view of customers and business partners.

Master data is very often distributed across the entire company, in different locations and in applications. This means that, due to these data silos, departments or newly developed business areas cannot access all master data. The data pools do not fit together, and data management is limited to separate data silos.

Companies thus squander the great potential that lies in their databases - namely the opportunity to gain a uniform view of their customers, business partners and suppliers. If the master data is redundant in different data silos, companies lose a lot of time when reconciling master data and they incur avoidable costs on top of that.

Master data management has become an asset for companies

The better the master data is maintained and thus usable for the company, the higher its value for the company. After all, data is the raw material for information. The knowledge gained from it provides the necessary basis for strategic and operational business decisions. Duplicates, incorrect or outdated master data cause business mishaps of varying magnitude in everyday business life. For companies, such events are not only annoying - they can damage the company's reputation and have painful financial consequences.

The following symptoms are indications that a company does not have control over its master data management due to data silos:


  • The introduction of new products (time-to-market) takes far too long and can lead to competitive problems.
  • Data quality is a major factor of uncertainty. Master data is available in varying quality, the provision of required information is time-consuming, and the information is not necessarily reliable.
  • Evaluations and analysis results do not deliver the desired results because the underlying data are not up-to-date and robust.
  • The usability of systems and processes also suffers from the lack of trust in the company's own database.
  • Mergers and acquisitions further exacerbate the silo problem. The proliferation of information paralyzes day-to-day business.

Going for a swim in the data pool or better structured for a holistic view?

Companies that do not take care of their data in the context of these symptoms and instead let everything run its course will sooner or later end up with a huge pool of data. However, this sea of data is virtually unusable. There is a lack of clarity and structure. What ultimately helps is having the courage to admit this situation to yourself and then start to bring all online and offline touchpoints under one roof step by step in a structured manner. However, this does not have to be done all at once in one go, but can be done system by system and thus data silo by data silo.

Ultimately, the aim is to establish a reliable database centrally in one place in the company as a reference that is linked to the individual data sources. A standardized data model must be designed in which the data will be required in the future. The data is then recorded source by source, quality-optimized and fed into the central database.

What is created step by step in this way are so-called golden records, ideally with a unique customer ID as a uniform identifier, which contain all data consolidated for each customer or business partner as the sole, reliable data truth and are synchronized back into the source systems. This ensures that all areas throughout the company work on a reliable, uniform database whose content is up-to-date, complete, correct and unambiguous. The ultimate measure against data proliferation, blurred data pools and inefficient processes:


  • Marketing has correct salutations and mail addresses for individualized email campaigns.
  • Finance has the correct bank details and the right contacts for billing and transfers.
  • Sales has all the information on turnover, purchase histories, existing budgets and creditworthiness. 


Break down data silos and manage data centrally


 For effective master data management, data silos must be broken down by centralizing the management of data. The aim is to keep the master data at a high level throughout its entire period of use: from analyzing the data inventory and initial cleansing (data cleansing) to implementing a data quality firewall in applications to prevent ongoing data contamination (data protection) and continuously monitoring the data quality achieved (data governance). 

More about master data management


Two key ingredients for lasting success

To ensure that the centralized and reliable database that has been achieved is permanent, it is important to view data quality as a continuous process and not as a one-off action. After all, ensuring data quality is like rowing against the current - as soon as you stop, you drift backwards. This is due to the many changes that data is subject to, such as relocations, deaths, marriages, street and town renamings or incorporations. Data ages naturally. If all these changes are not continuously updated, the usability and informative value of a database is increasingly diminished to the point of being unusable.

A clear, binding organizational framework for data quality, known as data governance, is also required. Data governance means establishing internal standards and data guidelines for the collection, storage, processing and destruction of data. Data governance defines who can access which type of data and which types of data are subject to governance.


The right mindset 

Overall, a general awareness of the value-oriented handling of data is important within the company. Data is as valuable as gold, especially if it is managed intelligently with a focus on data quality. Everyone in the company must be aware of this. Data quality is not an optional extra, but a duty. Without reliable data, there can be no reliable analyses, target groups cannot be reached, personalized campaigns cannot be run and customer centricity fails. 

Who can or wants to afford this nowadays, especially when the competition is just a click away? There is practically only one answer to this rhetorical question. And success comes relatively quickly, especially if you keep an eye on the return on investment. There is nothing good unless you do it.


Effective master data management without data silos, but with master data management solution

Uniserv with the Customer Data Hub. This lean, customized master data management solution helps to achieve effective master data management. The Customer Data Hub creates golden records, avoids duplicates, consolidates and provides all company-wide available information on a customer. The Uniserv Data Quality solutions ensure up-to-date, clear and reliable customer data. The rapid implementation, high scalability and targeted handling of the data bring tangible added value after just the first three months.

More about the Customer Data Hub

Share this article:

You might also be interested in:

Data Quality
Quality-optimized data is a key prerequisite for the success of your business. Therefore, understand, maintain, protect and monitor your data across all phases of its lifecycle.
Master Data Management
Dedicate the necessary care and attention to your customer master data right from the start: up-to-date, correct, complete, unambiguous and centrally available! Because quality determines the efficiency of customer data processes.
Duplicate check
Find and clean duplicate records of your customers and prospects, with error-tolerant precision identification, based on country-specific knowledge bases, for a clean system without duplicates.