A survey undertaken at the Kalido User Group last month found that almost two-thirds of Kalido customers see tackling master data management* as a top priority for their organizations even though the IT industry as a whole has neglected the issue.
MDM is needed to deploy standard business definitions and improve data governance and plays a central role in enabling accurate business intelligence and reporting. An emerging trend is for MDM ownership to move from the IT department to business executives.
Over the last decade Shell’s Lubricants division has moved from country-based units through geomarkets and now, to a global model. Mergers and demergers further complicated Shell’s product topology. Meanwhile, enterprise customers such as GM were ‘getting centralized’ and began demanding standardization across global procurement, something Shell was ill equipped to provide.
Shell realized that the move to e-business would expose many of the inadequacies of its decentralized back office systems to customers. The solution was content standardization through rigorous MDM. Shell developed a centralized global catalog of a rationalized product portfolio—five times smaller than the initial product count.
Standard rules for product and attribute names were implemented and mapping between local and global nomenclatures meant that ERP logic would not be disturbed.
Shell has developed its own web based master data management application, leveraging Kalido’s Adaptive Data Store technology. A relational structure for master data allows product teams to execute queries such as ‘find all products with the same attributes.’ A query that would have been impossible to execute in the past due to the multitude of disparate systems across which product master data was stored.
*Master data management concerns data that is shared across the enterprise. Not to be confused with metadata, header information or ‘data about data’.
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