The Intelligent Data Management Blog

The ROI Challenge: Driving MDM by Value

A common exercise every MDM practitioner is sooner or later confronted to is the measure of the Return on Investment (ROI). Unfortunately, the MDM ROI frequently suffers from a Yeti Syndrome: Some believe it exists, some do not, and no one is able to actually prove its existence with facts.

Asking an MDM practitioner a question as simple as "What will be the ROI of this MDM Project?" frequently leads to a magnificent misdirection & illusion show or to a puzzled ("Uh?") face.

Well, in these economically challenging times, every executive is entitled to request a quantified ROI for every single expenditure as well as accurate monitoring of the results. In a nutshell, have the MDM initiative driven by value.

I am not saying that it is easy to measure the ROI of any project. Yet, two simple steps are mandatory in an MDM iteration to make sure that the initiative remains truly driven by value:

  • The initial assessment of data quality issues before starting the iteration. This step usually helps you pointing the business pains and process issues attached to the data and the objective of the iteration.
  • The measurements of data quality and master data process performance after completing the MDM iteration, and regularly repeated to assess the project's sustainability.

The deltas objectively measured as data and process metrics are the base numbers for quantifying the ROI. They must be combined with the business user's inputs to convert technical numbers (duplicates, invalid records, record creation process latency, etc.) into business numbers (number of customers, revenue, defects avoided, etc.) and finally in to C-Level numbers ($, £ and €).

Business users, who are entitled to challenge the value of MDM, must be involved as partners to help defining the conversion rules. Why? Because the difficult part is not the data and process measures. It is in the definition of the conversion rules. For example: "What is the expected number of new customers if we increase customer data quality by x percent?"

At Semarchy, we believe that taking the pulse of your data and data management process should be simple and easy, and most of all, should be part of the MDM solution.  So we have released a new component in our Evolutionary MDM platform. We simply named it Convergence Pulse.

Sample Convergence Pulse Dashboard: Data Quality by Transaction

Sample Convergence Pulse Dashboard: Workflow Performance
Convergence Pulse Metrics in Tableau Desktop.

Learn More About Convergence Pulse