MDM explained to my Mum

This summer, the Semarchy US team had the pleasure to welcome Charlotte Andrews, a student coming from a College in the New York State. Charlotte has successfully completed a 2-month internship in the core of the Silicon Valley. This experience was her first step into an IT company and more specifically in the data world. Because Master Data Management is not always well understood, she thought she could write a blog post called “MDM explained to my Mum”. Enjoy your reading!

MDM explained to my Mum

By Charlotte

MDM Explained to my MumThough master data management is a term that most people have heard of by now in the technology industry, many people are still in the dark about what MDM actually entails. When I started my internship at Semarchy, my mom was full of questions about what “this MDM thing is.” As a person who is generally very unfamiliar with most things tech-related, she needed a simplified, basic explanation. To my mother, all data is created equal, so why would anybody spend money and time on it? MDM seemed dry and so not cool. I politely told her that she should change her point of view, and by the end of my explanation I think I convinced her.

To understand why a company would need master data management, it’s first important to understand the pains that come with bad data. And to show how common these pain points can be, I started by explaining MDM in the context of my family. Both my sister and I attend the same university, so even though we are from the same household my parents are in the system twice. Sometimes this means that we get double the mailings, double the phone calls, and double the inconvenience. If companies or universities had MDM, not only would they would save money and resources and my family wouldn’t have to deal with duplicate emails and material sent to them.

Another scenario where Universities would be in trouble without MDM is with donations. Let’s say that my mom donated under my name, and my dad donated under my sister’s name. Without MDM, universities would not be able to put those two donations together and recognize that as a whole, my family donated more than what the data says at first glance. Moreover, they might not correctly target our family in future donation campaigns.

MDM solves these kinds of problems. It cleans and enriches the data. It looks for duplicates and matches them, and can match them even if they’re not exactly the same (that’s called fuzzy matching). It takes the messy, scattered data and finds the one golden record that is the truest, most up to date information. Having the most accurate, consolidated data allows companies and universities to be more efficient and effective. MDM, I explained to my mom, is the key tool that enables companies to have the best data to best support their best company. And that’s pretty cool indeed!

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