Using Master Data in Business Intelligence

Master data is reference data about an organization’s core business entitles. These entities include people (customers, employees, suppliers), things (products, assets, ledgers), and places (countries, cities, locations). The applications and technologies used to create and maintain master data are part of a master data management (MDM) system. MDM, however, involves more that applications and technologies, it also requires an organization to implement policies and procedures for controlling how master data is created and used.

This paper reviews the current status of MDM, and offers suggestions for planning, building and deploying an MDM environment. The paper proposes an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach to MDM, and examines how the MDM environment can be used in conjunction with BI applications and an underlying data warehousing environment to improve the decision making process. It also presents an overview of the SAP MDM solution and how it supports many of the ideas presented in this paper.

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