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    The identification of the entities contributing to master data management is relatively easy to define, but as with any other rulings, there are exceptions to this one!  Therefore, any organization entering this arena must be conscious of the criteria, which should be considered when determining whether an entity should be recognized as master data. Master data may be seen by how it is created, read and updated, as well as searched and deleted. It is a cycle that differs between the element types and companies in the master data process. An example of this is seen by how a customer is created, which is mainly dependent upon the operating rules of a company, its industry segment, and the data systems it has in place.

    While the master data factor is usually considered less volatile than transactional data, there are entity values that remains the same, but one of the main motivators in the management of master data is its reusable value. When related to Customer Relation Management (CRM) in a past business environment, the related system would be capable of managing this aspect completely. All customer details would be known and never need to be shared with another system. In the ever-increasing technological complex business environment of today, however, information related to customers requires sharing with multiple applications and is the cause of a variety of issues!

    Managing your Master Data

    There are various reasons for issues to arise; for example, unavailable access to the master data or master data is stored in different and varied locations, for instance, spreadsheets and private application stores. Other issues can relate to the quality of the data, degradation, and decay. Any master data entity that is subject to reuse by multiple systems should also be subjected to a master data management system. Recent actions related to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and software as a service vehicle, have made this management factor an essential issue.

    Due to the increasing demands of our business environment, for any organization, the maintaining of a high-quality and consistent set of master data has become a crucial factor in any organization.  An example emphasizing the necessity for efficient and effective master data management is seen by the creations of a single customer service designed to communicate by way of explicit XML messages.  However, should the details of a customer be stored in various other databases, each with different addresses and phone numbers, customer service, could be seen as being, ineffective!

    It is a situation that could be aggravated by certain business needs and circumstances, such as a decision being made to subscribe to a Customer Relation Management service provider. A record of customers will be needed for their database, and the question would then arise as to which list would be forwarded to them?

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