I recently had a client ask about MDM measurement for their customer master. In many cases, the discussions I have about measurement is how to show that MDM has "solved world hunger" for the organization.  

In fact, a lot of the research and content out there focused on just that. Great to create a business case for investment.  Not so good in helping with the daily management of master data and data governance. This client question is more practical, touching upon:

* What about the data do you measure?

* How do you calculate?

* How frequently do you report and show trends?

* How do you link the calculation to something the business understands?

What I liked about this line of thinking is that it is focused on that grey area between Tactical Reporting that is focused on atomic measures and the Executive Dashboard that translates measures into business impact. What we are talking about here is the Operational Dashboard. This shows the link between quality and business operations. For example one company calculated the percentage of customer records processed and delivered to the Sales team by Marketing that have been updated, created, or consolidated. This was used to reconcile the counts and conversion numbers Marketing tracks to measure their performance. In fact, the delivery process report was the foundation for how Marketing showed it was satisfying goals to nurture or expand market footprint.

Ultimately, what you measure and how you measure is within the context of a business process. Look to your business processes and business performance management dashboards to guide the development of an MDM operational dashboard. Link data process and quality metrics to conversion and hand-off points in business processes. This is where you can show the business what you are doing to improve their data and ultimately support their operations.

What are you measuring in your operational MDM dashboards? Share your examples.

This Forrester blog appeared at Information Management, a sister publication to Health Data Management.

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