How MDM & a DeLorean Increases Transparency for your Organisation


Data is all around us, in everything and is constantly changing. Since the dawn of time, humanity has been recording data; from the Assyrians in 19th century BC using clay tablets for trades to Google recording our every click.  Being immersed in data for so long, I recall when organisations first started to harvest data in mass, and accessibility, usability, and clarity was a real challenge. Many focused on building strategies only around the collection and consolidation of data. But today that just isn’t good enough. Consumer, corporate, and government markets regularly demand clean, accurate data, pushing organisations to be even more responsive and responsible in the way they manage, handle, and disburse data. Organisations are now regarded as data custodians with a strong consumer, shareholders, and government agencies’ expectations on how data is handled for the benefits of organisations and consumers. This means that accessibility must be overcome and eliminated as a challenge and must include ease and friendliness as primary capabilities.


The gap in data governance has grown between the need, the availability, the data consumer, and the organisation. The gap stems from various factors, not just how you collect and store data, but a whole science behind what data governance entails. While it isn’t rocket science, common risks of not having a sound data governance in place include loss of productivity and data, and in consequence, losses in revenue and reputation. With data risks, you can’t just turn back the clock, especially since time-traveling wasn’t actually created back in 1985 by Doc, the eccentric scientist in “Back to the Future” movie series. One of the best ways forward for data custodians like you and I is to enable robust data governance and having a set of guidelines to build cadence.


More Than Just Data Cadence


Master Data Management, or MDM, is a “technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official, shared master data assets” 1. MDM is a critical component of supporting data governance strategies.  Similar to time-traveling, organisations need to understand what outcomes (goal post – somewhere in the future) they want to head to, follow a set of guidelines (data governance) and punch it into the DeLorean (MDM) to get the whole machine working seamlessly. The immediate benefits of everything working smoothly together are, of course, getting to where you want to be – where data silos are united to bring consistency to business data points, resulting in greater clarity in where and how you can use your data for agile decision-making.


Just as Doc made continuous improvements on the DeLorean, MDM strategies, so too, should be flexible and adaptable for changing times and have a role to play in every type of organisation and government. For example, MDM allows you to gain better oversight and insight regarding service performance and a complete view of customers and their value chain. Being able to master customers and unifying customer touch points to have a single 360-degree view (Unity) means less duplication of communications with more personalised and accurate information (Clarity). Still, there is an endless number of potential benefits should you have the system in place to effectively manage data. (I will speak on more use cases and benefits later in the series.)


According to Gartner, “By 2022, evaluators of data and analytics services will disqualify over 50% of providers due to lack of business knowledge and coverage of essential data strategy and data management skills”. Organisations will need to find the right partners to provide this unique yet necessary knowledge to marry strategy and management and tap into all the business benefits of having an MDM solution. Our partnerships with global players, such as TIBCO, paved the way for organisations looking for a strong support network for their data management and analytics requirements and future-proofing new data trends and capabilities. TIBCO’s Sharon Peifer also shared why MDM is a critical first step towards business reinvention in a recent blog. It echoes what Ascention’s vision is for the future of data management for the modern, digital enterprise.


MDM At the Forefront of Modern, Digital Enterprises


Through years of partnership and collaboration with global and regional enterprises, our clients have achieved more accurate insights, improved planning, and fostered a culture of data-driven decision-making automation. While there are options today to create your ecosystem of experts, one of the ways to kick start your MDM journey in the context of your broader enterprise-wide share data asset initiatives is to have a partner to take the lead, identify, and unify expertise for greater clarity.


Have a quick read on how industry analysts benchmark leaders in the MDM space, such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions 2. We’ve also shared a quick guide to help organisations determine if it’s the right time to move onto an MDM solution. To take your business to the next level and not “back to the future,” remember, the keywords are “immediate and well-informed decisions.” There is no better time than now to unify and clarify your path to MDM success.


This has been part of the Ascention Data as A Language series.

Please see previous topics:

Ascention Shares Experience

Just as Doc was willing to share his adventures, Ascention also wishes to impart skills and knowledge.  The team at Ascention is always willing to share our experiences to assist your team’s progress – simply contact us to start an informal, no-obligation discussion.

Ascention Contact: Ben Elters, Client Director. E: M: +61 415 500 563



  1. Gartner, Market Guide for MDM External Service Providers, Sally Parker, Divya Radhakrishnan, 26 May 2020 (Gartner Subscription Required)
  2. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions, Simon Walker et al., 13 January 2020
    Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartners research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.