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Skeptics are defined as individuals who question the validity or truth of things that most people accept, and when it comes to technology advancement, skeptics are truly the most challenging of audiences to convince. While every company seems to have some business and/or IT manager who may be quick to shrug off customer-centric Master Data Management (MDM) as a feel-good initiative lacking quantifiable business benefits, it’s really just a matter of validating the advantages to convert these skeptics into champions. When faced with internal MDM disbelievers, the best approach is to provide tangible metrics or business scenarios that make it difficult for even the most skeptical critic to doubt the significant business value of customer-centric MDM. In fact, almost all business functions can benefit from the collective customer insight an MDM solution can provide either in terms of operational efficiencies or better customer-facing business processes. Despite these benefits, companies need to take the time to build consensus among both business and IT decision makers before attempting to embark on, or secure funding for a customer-centric MDM initiative.



Today, business managers are more aware of the positive impact that reliable customer data can have on critical business functions such as Customer Service. They also tend to have a clear understanding of the value this data can have on complementary customer-facing functions such as Marketing and Sales. Also, with federal compliance regulations taking center stage - particularly in the Financial Services and Pharmaceutical sectors - having a single view of clients and health care providers has become a major requirement in meeting regulations. Yet, despite the acceptance amongst the varying lines of business users, an organization still needs to present a viable business case if it hopes to convince both IT and Executive management of the over-arching benefits of MDM. One of the major challenges is in placing accurate values on such abstract pursuits as improved customer service, brand, and regulatory compliance. Another unavoidable challenge is that many CIO’s are understandably risk-averse and may be reluctant to embark on any technology investment that is unable to quantify a return on investment (ROI). This is largely because many have found top line revenue growth from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) investments to be difficult or impossible to quantify.

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