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Master Data Management Implementation in Dynamics 365 ERP: 5 Best Practices

by Jerry Caous
Sales Director, To-Increase

André Arnaud de Calavon of To-Increase contributed to this article. It is adapted from this blog post

According to a report by KPMG , 56% of CEOs are concerned about the integrity of the data they are using for decision-making and 45% believe that a lack of quality customer data hinders the depth of their customer insight. Imagine sending an important customer email to the wrong email address, making a product launch decision based on inaccurate data on buyer preferences, or being unable to access a list of your top 100 customers because data is scattered across multiple systems.  Imagine this happened to you.

If you cannot master your master data, it can result in incorrect decisions, loss of credibility, and a waste of time and money.

We have had many people ask us for guidance on the best time to implement a master data management (MDM) solution. The simple answer is that it is easier to start early on in your digital transformation journey than implement it later. Although the investment is substantial, MDM, when done right, creates new opportunities to generate more revenue.

5 MDM Implementation Best Practices for Dynamics 365 ERP customers

1. Build your business case for MDM

One of the top reasons for the failure of an MDM initiative is a missing business case. At its core, your business case should answer the fundamentals of MDM implementation: why, how, and who. We will dive into defining some of those details in the recommendations below. Here are a few more best practices to follow to build a better business case.

  • Connect your master data projects to your business strategies, goals, and objectives so that the benefits are clear.
  • Reach out to business users to understand how data is used in your organization's functions and processes.
  • Decide when and where to start
  • Don’t forget to plan for data governance.
  • Identify and prioritize business challenges and data issues and be clear on the organizational objective of MDM implementation.

2. Identify your stakeholders

Identify stakeholders and get a senior executive to act as the sponsor or champion for MDM implementation. Stakeholder alignment is a vital part of MDM implementation. The champion or sponsor is actively invested and involved in the implementation process and communicates with all the stakeholders. This ensures that the goal of your MDM implementation project is aligned with the company's objectives.

In addition to stakeholders, you also need a project team that is empowered and held accountable for meeting milestones and completing goals. Get inputs from each department within your organization for a worthwhile MDM project, as every department uses data in one form or the other.

Here’s a list of potential stakeholders for MDM implementation:

  • Senior management
  • Business users
  • Data stewards
  • Application owners
  • Information architects

3. Follow a clear implementation strategy

Approach your MDM implementation with a well-researched plan. Do not ignore scalability and future design considerations. You might wonder if it would be better to start with one domain of master data at a time or focus on multiple domains. In my view, this entirely depends on your business challenges, data pain points, and the timelines within which you must solve the challenge.

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About Jerry Caous

With over three decades of experience in business development and business-critical software sales, Jerry supports organizations with making informed decisions in their digital transformation journey.

At To-Increase, Jerry is the Sales Director for D365 F&SCM Add-on Solutions and specializes in the business and technical integration domains. His expertise in add-on solutions for D365 ERP makes him an excellent advisor for organizations looking to streamline their operations and fuel business growth.

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