Organizations realize the importance of master data management, along with the management of data quality, data security, data entry, data control, and data integration. Without clean, accurate, and validated data, it is difficult to derive value from the data and use it to make smarter business decisions.
The first step is to assemble the right team, get organizational buy-in on a data governance strategy and budget, and then evaluate master data management solutions. But selecting a master data management solution is as challenging as finding a reliable partner for this journey.
At To-Increase, we have a Master Data Management Suite for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management (D365 F&SCM). Our interactions with our customers have helped us gauge what they are usually looking for when it comes to a master data management solution, and that has helped us strengthen our portfolio and roadmap.
This blog will cover the top considerations to keep in mind while evaluating a master data management solution to help you find the right partner.
Top 8 considerations to keep in mind while evaluating master data management solution providers
Based on the "Master Data Management (MDM) Market” (2023-2028) report, “the global Master Data Management (MDM) market size is projected to reach 10.9 billion USD by 2028, with a CAGR of 12.9% during 2022-2028”.
Since more and more companies realize the importance of implementing a data governance strategy and using solutions that can help them achieve their vision, we have put together a list that will help companies evaluate master data management solution providers.
1. Level of support provided by the vendor
The first thing people look for when evaluating a solution is the kind of support provided by the vendor during the various stages of the project. So, if you need implementation and training support and extensive support after the project is live, you need to look for a solution provider that can cater to all those business needs.
Implementing master data management solutions takes time, organizational change management, and buy-in, especially when you lack a data governance strategy. An MDM solution provider that offers consulting services with knowledgeable experts to guide you beyond the solution and assist with complex scenarios and use cases is more likely to meet your needs.
A helpful tip is to request a demo for your most critical use cases during the evaluation of solutions. Additionally, it's essential to assess the company's track record and customer base. If a company has received recognition and awards, it adds to its credibility. Moreover, if the company collaborates with customers who can vouch for both the solutions and the company's support, that's a positive step forward.
2. Specialization in Tier 1 ERP solutions
The ERP system is the most crucial and accurate source of data that drives operations and revenue across the organization and can be integrated with other business systems. Therefore, if there is synergy between the master data management solution and the ERP system, it would provide an easier way to manage master data. This approach allows you to leverage the power of the ERP solution instead of maintaining an additional MDM system, which can also be more expensive in the long run.
Solutions that work across ERPs cannot effectively address the challenges specific to your ERP. A solution that is not designed to accommodate the particular challenges of your ERP will require a longer learning curve to implement and use and may not integrate as seamlessly as an ERP-specific solution.
While we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, at To-Increase, for example, we have gained insights into the challenges faced by Dynamics 365 F&SCM users. As a result, we have developed solutions that assist our customers in overcoming these challenges through our Master Data Management Suite.
3. Strong product roadmap vision
While there are mature solutions available in the market, technology is constantly evolving. So, newer players can always disrupt the market with versatile, user-friendly solutions at affordable rates. Therefore, whether a solution has been the top-rated solution on Gartner or just rising on the horizon, the solution provider that has a strong product roadmap and is open to customer feedback will be a better contender for your company.
While there are mature solutions available in the market, technology is constantly evolving. Therefore, newer entrants can disrupt the market with versatile, user-friendly solutions at affordable rates. Whether a solution has held a top-rated position on Gartner's list or is just emerging, a solution provider with a robust product roadmap and a willingness to incorporate customer feedback will be a stronger contender for your company.
4. Product functionality and performance
Is the master data management solution that you are evaluating secure? Is it easy to synchronize with your ERP and can it integrate with all your business systems and applications? Does it simplify and help you improve your processes across the data lifecycle from creation to publishing?
The product features, ease of use, and performance are important things to keep in mind while considering master data management solutions. The solution you might be considering could be the top-rated solution online, but not flexible or easy to use for your organization.
Investing in master data management software requires flexible budgets and organizational buy-in. Some master data management platforms are priced based on the number of integrations, the number of companies, or they have a fixed price determined by the available features.
In addition to licensing costs, you must also consider training and implementation support. If your data processes are complex, you will likely need full-time support as well. Therefore, it's crucial to take all these costs into account when evaluating master data management solutions, as we understand that this is usually the bottom line in the evaluation process.
6. Flexibility of the solution
A flexible data quality, data entry, and master data management solution will enable you to restrict data fields, make essential fields mandatory, provide guidelines, and validate data with ease. If you have a flexible strategy, it's crucial to seek a tool that offers these capabilities.
If you need to revert or make changes after activating a data quality rule or workflow, a solution that allows you to do so with just a few clicks will be easier to manage in the long run. Without a flexible data governance strategy, executing changes can be challenging, especially when you need to adapt based on feedback from various business units managing individual business processes.
7. Additional compatible functionality
Besides MDM, your organization might be facing other challenges. For instance, you may need to explore solutions to enhance security or integrate your ERP with other business systems to obtain a holistic view of your data. Furthermore, if all these solutions can work well together and be easily integrated, it will simplify management for your team.
If you can find a single provider capable of addressing multiple challenges, it may be worth your organization's time and resources to consider such an option instead of outsourcing several solutions from multiple independent solution providers (ISVs) and coordinating with more people than necessary.
8. Scalable solution
Are you exploring master data management solutions for Microsoft Dynamics F&SCM?
Another important consideration is whether your master data resides within your ERP system. Most master data management solutions that are independent of the ERP or located outside of it typically require more time for implementation and go-live.
Since our solution is embedded within D365 F&SCM, we leverage the D365 data structure. Therefore, if your organization stores its master data within the D365 ERP, our embedded Master Data Management suite would be a suitable choice. If not, we hope this list helps you identify the right fit for your organization.
Since our solutions are built specifically for Microsoft ERPs, they use the same business logic, provide a familiar user experience, and are available in the D365 dashboard. Also, they work seamlessly with every Microsoft upgrade. Our solutions are scalable, built for the cloud, and also available on-premises.
We have a dedicated customer-first approach and maintain regular communication with our customers to understand their challenges, enabling us to enhance our solutions. Customer feedback also plays a pivotal role in shaping our roadmap and exploring possibilities for improving our solutions with newer advanced technologies.
Below is an overview video of our Master Data Management Suite.
Although our solutions are designed keeping business users in mind and are no-code, configuration-based solutions, we do provide support for implementation and beyond for organizations that need additional support. To learn more about our product features and benefits, download our factsheet from the link below.