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Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of Master Data Management; Praying Won't Help: Harmonizing Meaningful Information From Disparate Systems Takes a Business-Savvy Approach, Says Knightsbridge
[April 11, 2006]

Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of Master Data Management; Praying Won't Help: Harmonizing Meaningful Information From Disparate Systems Takes a Business-Savvy Approach, Says Knightsbridge

CHICAGO --(Business Wire)-- April 11, 2006 -- Companies using IT-driven, technology-centric, or big-bang approaches to clean up inconsistent data throughout the enterprise must atone for their sins. These are among the biggest pitfalls when it comes to implementing master data management to address information quality problems, according to Knightsbridge Solutions, the largest professional services firm exclusively focused on business intelligence and data warehousing.

"Master data management is a program, not a one-time project - and immediate business value can be achieved," said Faisal Shah, Chief Technology Officer of Knightsbridge. "A business-driven, phased approach to build momentum for MDM can immediately empower the business without disrupting operations."

Enthusiasm for master data management (MDM) is on the rise. After merging with or acquiring other organizations, or after years of independent application deployments, companies face rampantly conflicting records that describe people, products, facilities, and other core business entities. As a result, they require a consistent, comprehensive, and reliable view of their basic business data to avoid risks such as regulatory noncompliance, operational inefficiencies, costly errors, and missed opportunities.

Yet the reality is that many will fail in their efforts by making at least one of the "seven deadly sins" of MDM identified by Knightsbridge. Among them:

-- Focusing MDM efforts only on the technology. Managing master data is more about business and people. Although technical challenges exist, the bigger pursuit is getting business constituents to play a key role right from the start, and to champion business process change over time.

-- Failing to take an incremental approach to MDM. Treating MDM as a single initiative is highly unrealistic. Not only would it cost millions of dollars and several years to complete, but also it is probable that the business would lose interest and funding would dry up early on in the process. Priority areas should be addressed first, and business value must be achieved early and often.

-- Believing that complete enterprise consensus is possible. Master data will exist in a constant state of evolution. It must be accepted that there will never be a point in time at which all business units are in agreement with and have completely implemented master data for all key subject areas.

A complete list of all seven deadly MDM sins, along with detailed explanations of them, are offered in Knightsbridge's recently published white paper, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Master Data Management: How to Avoid Mistakes That Can Sink Your MDM Effort." The report is available for download at

"By keeping focus on the organizational, rather than the technological, elements of MDM, more intelligent business decisions, precise reporting, and enhanced operational efficiencies are possible," said Shah. "It starts with building consensus, managing change, and affirming the corporate commitment to managing data as an asset."

Knightsbridge is hosting a one-hour web seminar on the "Seven Deadly Sins of MDM" on Thursday, April 27 at 12:00 p.m. CDT. To register, visit

About Knightsbridge Solutions LLC

Fortune 500 companies and other large data-centric organizations turn to Knightsbridge for solutions to their most difficult data problems--problems rooted in massive data volumes or complex information challenges. Knightsbridge delivers actionable and measurable business results that inform decision-making, optimize IT efficiency, and improve business performance. Focusing exclusively on the information management disciplines of business intelligence, data warehousing, data integration, and information quality, Knightsbridge delivers practical solutions that reduce time, reduce cost, and reduce risk.

Knightsbridge serves clients in financial services, insurance markets, health and life sciences, retail and consumer products, high technology, manufacturing, telecommunications, energy, federal government, and other industries. Visit Knightsbridge online at

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