Master Data Management Workflows & Process Definitions

Understand, Analyze & Improve Master Data Business Processes

What are Master Data Management Flow Charts?

Workflows, or flow charts, for master data management should portray the specific activities or work steps that are required to perform the various processes related to master data management. There are various aspects of master data management (which will be discussed more below) that are all important to maintaining data quality and structure within the organization. Reviewing and tuning up these processes periodically will go a long way in ensuring data quality and data governance throughout the organization.

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Making Flow Charts for Master Data Management Operations

It can be very difficult to visualize the flow of master data work activities or the flow of organizational data itself. Flow charts will be useful in conceptualizing master data work activities or processes that are less tangible than other organizational workflows (new employee training, invoice processing, customer service, etc.). Organizations can gain advantages over their competitors by creating sound data governance procedures and monitoring those procedures through flow charts and periodic data review audits. Here are a few ways:

  • Standard Training on Data Governance Policies for Employees: Create formal enterprise-wide data governance training procedures, which can be developed with flow charts, to ensure that employees are clued in on how to maintain high quality data throughout the data lifecycle.

  • Identify Root Causes of Recurring Data Record Errors: Flow charts can be used to detect what is causing repetitive and problematic errors within the organization’s database. Track the flow of data throughout the organization’s data warehouse to find out what part of the process is impacting data quality.

  • Create Formal Processes for Data Auditing and Reporting: Master data management processes should be reviewed periodically to assess whether data governance policies and controls are being followed throughout the organization. Map out the audit process to assess each area of the master data process that needs to be reviewed. Tie key performance indicators (KPIs) to specific work activities to measure performance in areas that may not be currently tracked by the organization.

Flow Chart and Work Flow Analysis Throughout the Master Data Management Function

While many organizations may have policies or processes in place for various elements of the master data management process, data and technology are frequently changing, so processes need to be analyzed and updated on a periodic basis to ensure that data policies are still current. Here are some of the processes under the master data umbrella that can be reviewed to improve data quality, structure and consistency:

  1. Data Governance & Control: Data governance is responsible for developing company-wide policies regarding data use in addition to setting standards for data quality and security. Data governance can benefit from the use of flow charts in quite a few ways – data security scans, routine data compliance reviews, data sharing requirements across business units, etc.

  2. Database Engineering & Management: This function is responsible for the modeling, creation and administration of an organizational database. Database engineers will need to use flow charts, or workflows, to conceptualize the flow of organizational data, from data inputs to storage all the way to reporting.

  3. Enterprise Architecture: This function’s duties include integrating the business processes of internal groups (HR, Finance, etc.) with the IT systems and applications of the organization. Of course, flow charts and workflows can be used in enterprise architecture by mapping out which activities of the internal group process align with the company’s IT systems (i.e., invoice matching, automated HR e-mails, etc.)

  4. Information Architecture: Information architecture refers to the structural design of data within the organization (i.e., database architecture, unique identifiers, naming conventions, definitions, data storage, information retrieval, etc.). Database architects can benefit from the use of flow charts to manage and monitor when database systems should be tested, updated, upgraded, replaced, etc.

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