Everyone is talking about data-driven decisions in companies and in your company most likely as well. This meets the current trends but is largely a question of the reliability and quality of your main data (known as master data). This refers to the data that stores basic data attributes about operationally relevant objects, things, companies or people that remain valid and unchanged for a long period of time. There is master data in every business area, for example for personnel, locations, investments, suppliers, customers or even raw materials. They are the basis that keeps your company running and enables the further development and expansion of your business model.
For data-based decisions, you not only need master data but also real information. These arise when you add the four additional data dimensions to your master data: homogeneity, context, version history and history. The basis for these is a leading system in which complete, reliable and consistent master data is managed. This data is given context by mapping relationships and connections. In addition, all changes made are saved in the system’s version history. This chronicle enables you to travel through time, specifically to switch to any date in the past or in the future. You see your master data with all attributes and relationships as they were at that specific point in time and create reports related to a specific date. This gives you access at all times to the necessary 360° view of your company in order to make data-supported, solid decisions.
Ask yourself how your master data is consolidated, what it deals with and from which source system it stems from. In many cases, the short answer will be that it is not so easy to explain. This is because your master data is distributed across multiple systems and is consolidated within a spreadsheet. There are, however, limitations in terms of reliability and data quality. Spreadsheet software offers many options and functions when it comes to calculations – however, it is completely unsuitable for providing clean and up-to-date master data in compliance with data protection regulations:
- Visibility and access: Whether every detail of the master data may be seen by all employees depends on which business area or department the data is from. When it comes to sensitive personal data, for example, the answer is definitely no. At the higher data level, it is also important to define who really needs access to which data groups. There are a number of functions for this within spreadsheets, such as file encryption or access restrictions. However, this is far from sufficient for providing distributed teams the opportunity to work together on master data.
- Processes and workflows: From the moment your master data is pulled out of the systems, you completely give up control of this data. You have to trust that your employees work responsibly and also in accordance with data protection and compliance. It is impossible retrospectively to determine whether passwords, protection and other functions were correctly set in spreadsheet software at a certain point in time.
- Mapping of additional data dimensions: If you want to get more information content out of your master data, you need correlations, version history and information on how current the data records and attributes are. Even with very detailed knowledge of spreadsheet programs and highly complex files, you will not be able to achieve the depth of information required.
Under certain conditions and with a high investment of time, it is quite possible to consolidate at least part of your master data in spreadsheet software. We, however, recommend a good deal of skepticism about the reliability and quality of the data, and to check them regularly. What remains with this method is a limited depth of information that does not allow you to exploit the full potential of your master data. At the same time, your employees are less concerned with their core tasks and more with data preparation, which means that the core business, which all in all generates sales, falls by the wayside. The more your company grows, the more complex and time-consuming data preparation becomes.
In short, with a heterogeneous data landscape, you will not be able to get a grip on these challenges over time – especially if your company operates in an industry where data protection and compliance are particularly important. Now, before you throw in the towel, implement our 4D Master Data Management solution. Your existing IT systems will not change; rather they will be connected to the Goldright Enterprise Suite via bidirectional interfaces. This offers you the advantage that you will have a single leading system in which your master data is centrally consolidated, managed and, if necessary, also edited. Depending on data protection and compliance, you can flexibly regulate access rights in the 4D Enterprise Suite, from simple categories and groups to data attributes of any complexity. With our self-service and no-code approach, your trained experts can adapt the 4D data model at any time.
In addition, the lead time for the initial setup of the Goldright Enterprise Suite is significantly shorter than if you set up the entire data landscape or just certain parts from scratch. With our 4D Master Data Management (MDM) you get the depth of information you need to make sound decisions and operate successfully on the market.