Master Data Management, Part 1 – Your Solution to GDPR

Master Data Management (MDM) can solve many of the challenges faced by enterprises of all sizes. A true MDM solution delivers a unified view of an organisation’s data. By improving visibility into an organisation’s data, source information and customer records, an MDM solution keeps data highly accurate, relevant and useful.

A challenge that all businesses, regardless of industry, face is the challenge of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Coming into force 25th May 2018, GDPR affects the ways that organisations must handle and process EU customer data. Any company, regardless of where in the world it is located, must keep exact records and know where all data related to EU citizen’s personal data is stored. It is also vital that consent is explicit and that no data is processed without first seeking permission.

However, this field is still misunderstood and current awareness of the new law requirements is low.

According to the latest DCMS Cyber Security Breaches Survey, only 38% of businesses are aware of GDPR and only 27% have made any changes to how they operate, directly as a response to the forthcoming changes to data protection regulation.

The response to GDPR by a majority of businesses is surprising. This, perhaps, reflects the perceived difficulty in meeting the requirements of GDPR and executives either not knowing, or underestimating, the steps essential to reaching compliance.

However, implementing changes and improving data processes doesn’t have to be difficult.

MDM and GDPR – A Match Made in Data Heaven

A likely problem for many businesses is an abundance of disparate systems that have been implemented over time to improve organisational efficiency – but end up creating a tangled web of interrelated data sources. This lack of data accuracy increases the likelihood for data duplication, a lack of real data insights and will create real problems for businesses trying to comply with GDPR.

Depending on the severity of a breach, fines for non-compliance with GDPR will be up to €20 million, or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior financial year, whichever is greater. These fines relate to a company’s ability to report and resolve data breaches, and comply with user data requests, including full deletion and recalling.

That means that organisations need to be able to gather all data associated with an individual from across all data sources as quickly as possible.

To take a simple example, a customer may sign up to a company loyalty scheme under the name ‘John Smith’. The same customer may also sign up to receive the company newsletter, but this time under the name ‘Johnathan Smith’. Both entries are correct, and an advantage of utilising an MDM solution is the ability to de-duplicate and unify these customer records.

Legacy systems are unable to unify data sources and will be limiting for any business that needs to process EU citizen data efficiently and in compliance with the new regulations. ‘John’ and ‘Jonathan’ become two individual records, compromising the accuracy and utility of the data. An MDM solution maintains an organisation’s data centrally, which has the benefit of simplifying data management across departments and customer channels, and improving the quality of any insights gained from the data.

MDM provides a solution to many of the challenges associated with GDPR. By connecting to, and reconciling, all data sources within a business, an MDM solution should provide an organisation with trust and confidence in data-based decision-making. Reporting and KPI visibility should be streamlined and consolidated to one platform, rather than trying to piece together information from across several systems manually.

Final Thoughts

MDM solutions provide powerful analytics and enterprise insights to businesses, while ensuring compliance with the latest regulations. Existing systems shouldn’t have to be replaced and MDM solution implementation shouldn’t have a great impact on the day-to-day management of a business. Becoming a data-focussed business that makes informed decisions with highly accurate and useful information shouldn’t be difficult. For more information, contact our team of data experts. 

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