We now live and work in the most demanding and challenging business environments ever seen. The impact of a global pandemic, has put unforeseen pressure on business and corporations to compete for every customer and every drop of revenue whilst maintaining optimal and streamlined efficiency.
We exist in a data driven environment where data is king (or queen), bringing insights, intelligence, power, and competitive advantage. But if this data is not managed correctly it can incur considerable financial expense in regulatory fines, revenue loss and operational decay.
The days of application by application reference data management is impractical, expensive and time consuming, with an extrapolation for error and deficiency. In the world of telecommunications, finance, utilities, etc., no one application works on its own, every application needs to communicate with many others to undertake an operational goal.
One of the challenges with reference data is that consolidating that information into the manageable hub typically requires reconciling reference data from multiple sources. It is recognised if you want to succeed in Master Data Management (MDM) you need to have well managed reference data. Reference data is often seen as the poor cousin to MDM, but without reference data, data governance, revenue assurance, operations, customer care, marketing operations can all be significantly impacted.
The immediate business benefits of centralised management of reference data is a significant reduction in business risk with the chance of error associated with manual, ad-hoc, human processes mitigated. Business efficiency naturally improves with any dynamic changes to reference data being distributing to consuming applications effortlessly. Having implemented a centralised reference data management strategy reduces IT support costs, decreasing the overhead on IT resources for managing reference data as well as possible errors in integration activities. Substantiated reference data across multiple systems and operations, empowers reliable business intelligence, confident billing and tariff management and ultimately improved revenues and increased customer satisfaction.
Reference data may not be seen as sexy and glossy as other business operations, but it is a fundamental backbone to any successful corporation. Do not overlook it, respect it and it will pay you back with rich rewards.