Don't Be Puzzled By MDM






Master Data Management (MDM) plays a crucial role in maintaining consistent and accurate master data across organizations. A domain approach to Master Data Management (MDM) is one of the most common approaches used by companies. It involves managing master data within specific data domains such as customer data, product data, supplier data, etc. While the domain approach is a widely adopted method for organizing and managing master data, there are alternative approaches that organizations can consider. In this article, we will explore some of the alternatives to the domain approach in MDM.


The domain approach to MDM involves organizing master data into specific domains or business functions.

However, depending on an organization's unique needs and data landscape, alternative approaches may be more suitable.

Let's examine some of these alternatives.

1. Entity Approach

The entity approach focuses on managing master data based on individual entities or objects, such as customers, products, or suppliers.

Instead of organizing data into domains, each entity becomes the central point of data management. This approach allows for a more granular level of control and governance over specific data entities, enabling organizations to optimize data quality and consistency for individual entities.

The entity approach offers benefits such as:

- Improved data accuracy and quality at the entity level.
- Greater flexibility in managing and integrating data for specific entities.
- Enhanced data governance and stewardship for individual entities.

However, it may have limitations when it comes to cross-entity analysis and reporting, as data may not be easily aggregated across different entities.

2. Global Approach

The global approach, also known as enterprise-wide MDM, focuses on managing master data from a centralized perspective. In this approach, all master data is stored and managed in a single, unified repository accessible by all systems and applications across the organization. The global approach ensures consistency and standardization of data across the enterprise.

Advantages of the global approach include:

- Centralized control and governance of master data.
- Improved data consistency and integrity.
- Simplified data integration and sharing across systems.

However, implementing the global approach requires significant planning, infrastructure, and coordination among different business units and systems. It may also face challenges when dealing with data privacy and compliance regulations in certain industries or regions.

3. Hybrid Approach

The hybrid approach combines elements of multiple MDM approaches, including the domain, entity, or global approaches, to create a customized solution that meets an organization's specific needs. This approach recognizes that different data entities or domains may require different management strategies.

The hybrid approach offers the flexibility to:

- Apply the most suitable approach to each data domain or entity.
- Balance the benefits of centralized and decentralized data management.
- Accommodate diverse data governance requirements across different domains.

Implementing a hybrid approach requires careful analysis of data requirements, mapping data dependencies, and designing appropriate governance and integration processes.


While the domain approach is a popular method for MDM, organizations have alternatives to consider based on their specific requirements. The entity approach focuses on managing data at the individual entity level, the global approach emphasizes enterprise-wide data management, and the hybrid approach combines different approaches to create a customized solution. Each alternative has its advantages and challenges, and organizations should evaluate their data landscape, governance needs, and integration requirements to determine the most suitable approach.


Can organizations switch between different MDM approaches?

Yes, organizations can transition between different MDM approaches based on their evolving needs and data management requirements. However, such transitions require careful planning, data migration strategies, and adjustments to governance and integration processes.

Which MDM approach is best for data quality improvement?

Both the domain approach and entity approach can contribute to data quality improvement. The domain approach allows for focused data management within specific domains, while the entity approach enables granular control over individual data entities.

Are the alternatives to the domain approach mutually exclusive?

No, the alternatives are not mutually exclusive. Organizations can adopt a hybrid approach by combining elements of different approaches to create a customized solution that suits their specific needs.

How does the global approach address data consistency across systems?

The global approach centralizes master data in a unified repository, ensuring consistency and standardization across systems. It provides a single source of truth for master data, reducing the risk of data inconsistencies caused by multiple data sources.

Can organizations implement multiple approaches simultaneously?

Yes, organizations can implement multiple approaches simultaneously based on the diverse data management needs of different domains or entities. It allows them to tailor their MDM strategy to different data requirements and optimize data management practices accordingly.

Get Started Today!


Phone:+27 11 485 4856