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Our guide to Master Data Management, from definition to use cases, selection criteria and implementation!

Master Data Management: the foundation for consolidating, harmonizing, upgrading and transforming your organization's data into a single, reliable source for steering all actions and decisions. Unleash the potential of your data assets!

What is Master Data Management?

What does Master Data Management actually mean?

Also known as MDM (Master Data Management), Master Data Management is a technological solution based on a single repository combined with best practices and data governance processes to guarantee data quality, accuracy and traceability. It’s the point of truth for all IS applications, and the foundation of your company’s data assets!

MDM enables you to establish a single, certified version of your data. This data reliability is essential, since it feeds all your business processes and activities. Without master data consolidation, data is scattered throughout the company in different business applications, with the risk of heterogeneity, duplication and errors…

For this reason, the MDM receives all data from business applications, cleans it up and transcodes it before transferring it – via an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), for example – to the target applications. All these actions are finely tuned to align with the processes that will consume the data and optimize, or even secure, its execution.

How does Master Data Management work?

MDM is an integral part of organizations’ digital transformation projects: the primary purpose of master data management is to unify the digital data of the Information System. Generated by dozens, even hundreds of business applications, corporate data is often fragmented, erroneous or obsolete. Duplicates multiply, making it difficult – and time-consuming! – to cross-reference data manually. This is why Master Data Management is such an essential component of the best-of-breed application approaches increasingly demanded by business users.

Positioned at the heart of the Information System and its architecture, all data converges on this single repository, where the company’s customized management rules are applied. Data format, validation rules and transcoding are all under control. In addition, deduplication algorithms ensure that data is always available in a single, up-to-date version.

This secure data feeds the IS and keeps all applications up to date. Has a customer address changed in your CRM? Your ERP and all subscriber applications for which this address is essential are updated as quickly as possible!

However, Master Data Management doesn’t stop at unitary data control! Combined with Data Catalog approaches, the aim is also to provide a complete mapping of corporate data. Other MDM functions include the creation of hierarchical models, data scenario management and an advanced rules engine.

Last but not least, MDM provides a strategic vision of corporate data, with, for example, the ability to reconstitute a repository to date, and a comprehensive, consolidated view of data. All these advantages make MDM the cornerstone of any data governance approach.

Comment schématiser le concept de Business Process Management ?

Our dossiers on the subject of reference data management in depth

What uses does Master Data Management address?

Master Data Management can be implemented at any level of organizational maturity, under the supervision of Data Managers. The approach meets the strategic challenges of both the public and private sectors.

MDM in the public sector

  • Agent information management based on a repository
  • User repository to facilitate tracking of files and communication (implementation of “Tell us once”)
  • Repository for supervision of buildings, vehicles and equipment
  • Contract management (status, rates, specifications, etc.)
  • Management of reference data complementary to GIS (Geographic Information System)
  • Implementation of data governance to facilitate decision-making by local authorities

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For companies

  • Centralization of customer data in a Unique Customer
  • Repository (UCR) and improved customer experience (B2B & B2C)
  • Creation of a product repository for internal use and collaboration with partners
  • Management of a supplier repository (pre-referencing, contracts, etc.)
  • HR orchestration through an employee repository
  • Accounting repository (analytical, budgets, etc.)
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Understanding the role and benefits of Master Data Management

This governance and unification approach will have an impact on the ability to exploit data within a single repository, to support the Data strategy, to take a step back from the data lifecycle, and to control access and distribution throughout the Information System, with the precise definition of roles and responsibilities within the organization.

However, Master Data Management solutions vary widely in terms of capabilities, principles and the technological architectures used. So it’s essential to take a step back and consider the selection criteria and functional scope that will best meet your needs!

MDM criteria, key functions and points of attention

  • Information enrichment: the complete processing (deduplication, combination and enrichment, etc.) of data should generate a “golden record” for the organization.
  • 360° view of data: dashboards and statistics enable constant analysis of data and its quality, throughout its entire lifecycle.
  • Adaptation to business processes: data quality and administration are aligned with business processes and expectations
  • Scalability: Master Data Management is designed to support business transformation.
  • Dialogue: MDM must be able to interact with current and future IS applications.
  • Transversality: the approach must enable information governance that cuts across all information systems.

MDM objectives and benefits

  • Streamline information and improve overall organizational performance and inter-departmental collaboration
  • Eliminate data silos and information duplication
  • Improve data updating, reliability, exploitation and enhancement
  • Reduce data errors and obsolescence
  • Develop an approach to information quality and integrity, and facilitate the response to regulatory challenges (RGPD…)
  • Reduce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) by dispensing with superfluous repositories, reducing data entry time and facilitating application decommissioning.
  • Reinforce everyone’s confidence in the organization’s data, and thus support a data-driven strategy.

Blueway’s Phoenix platform and our Master Data Management convictions

We’re convinced that a data repository should be simple to deploy, use and maintain, and provide all the keys you need to master your data!

That’s why Data Governance, the MDM module of our Phoenix Data Platform, enables intuitive, graphical modeling of data repositories within a dedicated interface. GUIs, portals and webservices for acquisition and exposure are generated automatically. You can easily manage the data lifecycle through customizable portals.

Based on your business data management and quality rules, and integrated algorithms, our MDM module qualifies data and facilitates consolidation and monitoring. As its name suggests, Data Governance is a powerful lever for implementing your data strategies!

Blueway’s Phoenix integrates reference data management at the heart of its platform

A wealth of features

All key reference data management functionalities: quality management, deduplication algorithm, traceability, management rules, lifecycle monitoring, user GUIs, supervision, auditing, storage, logging...

Transparency, maintainability and gas pedal

Be assured of the transparency of your MDM solution thanks to a low-code approach... This accessibility and transparency of the code, combined with the ability to customize it, make the solution highly maintainable. Each repository is thus capable of responding to initial business needs, and adapting as they evolve. The platform is Cloud-Ready, but can also be installed On Premise, depending on your requirements.

User portal

Guarantee simple, controlled implementation in line with best practice, thanks to a data steward-oriented portal for data management and governance! You model your data repositories graphically and then automatically generate screens, forms, portals and acquisition and exposure webservices based on your management rules.


Your MDM is not static, but adapts to the evolution of your business processes and your organization's needs! Unlimited repository types, the ability to adapt to large volumes of data, steering functions for continuous improvement...: the MDM brings resilience and scalability to your organization.

How MDM complements ESB, BPM, Data Catalog and APIM

Data governance doesn’t stop at the data repository! At Blueway, we see the Information System as a lever for collaboration and cross-functionality between businesses. To meet this need, data must serve business processes. This means taking into account all cross-functional exchanges and IS interdependencies, as well as the fact that the data lifecycle is a tangle of human and technical interactions!

Our Phoenix platform is based on two key, complementary dimensions: data & processes, and includes BPM, MDM, Data Catalog, ESB and API Management solutions.

Data Platform Phoenix : DQM, MDM, BPM, ESB, Data Catalog
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Our latest content on data management

Our FAQs on Master Data Management

PIM has some similarities with MDM, but deals primarily with product data, and is often oriented from a business perspective (marketing...)! Questions of data exchange within the IS, traceability and lifecycle remain limited. This partial vision of data is not sufficient to implement data governance at company level.

DAM (Digital Asset Management) is essentially focused on centralizing, organizing and distributing multimedia files: a targeted action - all the more so as audiovisual resources are increasingly essential to companies - but a very specific one. DAM focuses on a very precise perimeter, and is not intended to position itself at a strategic or corporate governance level.
No! The architecture of our Data Governance module means you can adapt your MDM to an unlimited number of needs: customers, suppliers, items, point of sale, HR... the modularity of the solution means you can process all types of data, with no license limitations.
Far from being a purely technical response, the choice of an MDM is above all an organizational and human project. The aim is certainly to standardize the use of data according to rules and governance. However, this governance implies listening to all business functions, and is also based on the definition of roles and a suitable organization at company level... and therefore on a major change management process!

Master Data Management and Data Quality Management are actually part of a whole! Data Quality Management functions are integrated into the Phoenix MDM solution for optimum data quality. In fact, DQM's cleansing, fine-tuning of data constraints (identifier management, key calculation, uniqueness, attribute calculation, etc.), standardization and compliance maintenance capabilities are essential for creating data that can be used by everyone.

To better manage reference data and guarantee data quality, we rely on our Phoenix platform, combining MDM, Data Catalog, ESB, BPM and API Management. It enables you to map, catalog and collect your data assets with the Data Catalog module, to model your business processes graphically and simply in the BPM (Business Process Management) section, to automate the corresponding data flows thanks to our ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) and then to centralize and unify all this data in the MDM (Master Data Management) section.
Ah, the eternal question... and one that often leads to confusion: Mobile Device Management or Master Data Management? Indeed, the acronym MDM is used in both cases! At Blueway, 'MDM' stands exclusively for Master Data Management: we focus on centralizing and managing your data to ensure consistency across the organization. Mobile Device Management refers to the management of mobile devices. While we don't manage mobile devices, our solutions are of course Responsive and accessible from mobile devices :)
All types of data can be processed in Phoenix's Data Governance module, whatever the business domain (finance, customer, product, supplier, HR, marketing, etc.).

There are four main hub models, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • The data hub Registry
  • The data hub Consolidation
  • The data hub Coexistence
  • The Transactional or Centralized data hub
Reference data is structuring information that runs through vertical applications such as ERP, CRM and others, serving as the basis for organizing business processes across the enterprise.