Master of its domain

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Marty Moseley
Marty Moseley

Master Data Management (MDM) software or systems enable organizations to strategically leverage and share critical data assets. Deployed properly, MDM can provide organizations with complete, accurate and real-time views of data spread across multiple systems or databases, even outside the firewall. This allows businesses to unlock the value of their data assets for competitive advantages or operational improvements. Here are some quick, real-world examples of how organizations in the hospitality, retail and technology industries are using MDM solutions to manage their most important data while adding to the company bottom line.

An international hotel chain used multiple systems to track guests, but the company was only able to follow those enrolled in its loyalty program — about 10% of its customer base. Once the MDM system was deployed, it was no longer a problem to identify frequent guests, even if they registered under different identities (variations on names and addresses without a consistent identifier), did not use their loyalty program number or stayed at a number of the company's brands for a variety of reasons. By accurately matching guest information according to demographic and historical information, the company was now able to recognize guests, across all brands in its portfolio in real-time at the point of service. In this way, MDM can increase customer recognition and loyalty.

MDM can improve the customer experience and top-line growth. Plagued by redundant records and an inability to properly recognize customers at any touch point, a massive retailer with a huge online presence and hundreds of bricks-and-mortar stores knew it was essential to get a grip on customer data to help it interact with customers in a more meaningful way. With its new MDM system in place, the retailer has created an accurate, real-time view of its approximately 40 million customer records from three disparate data sources. They can now recognize individual and household relationships, and have identified more than 11 million redundant records.

It can also help to understand customer relationships and improve revenue and service. One of the world's largest technology companies was losing significant revenue due to incomplete software licensing information and territory assignment issues. By properly managing organizational-level data, the company has found $139 million in new licensing revenue and recouped $47 million in operational cost savings. The MDM solution also helped improve field productivity since sales reps now can access synchronized data from across the entire organization (CRM, software licensing and financial accounting applications) and gain a better picture of existing relationships and potential for cross- and up-sell opportunities.

At the end of the day, what you sell or service you provide doesn't matter. It is imperative to better understand your customers while improving the bottom line. With an MDM solution in place, it turns out that these two goals do not have to be mutually exclusive. Knowing your customers is the key.

Marty Moseley is chief technology officer at Initiate Systems. He can be reached at mmoseley@initiatesystems.com.  

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