TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Master data management and its organizational implementation: an ethnographical study within the public sector



DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli


Purpose: Master data management (MDM) aims to improve the value of an organization’s most important data, such as customer data, by bridging the silos between organizational units and information systems. However, incorporating data management practices into an organization is not a simple task. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new understanding of the challenges in establishing and developing the MDM function within an organization. Design/methodology/approach: This papers report an ethnographic study within a municipality. The data were collected from two consecutive MDM development projects over the time period of 32 months by observing MDM-related activities and interviewing appropriate actors. Observations, interviews, and impressions were documented to a diary that was later qualitatively analyzed. Various project documentation were also used. Findings: In total 15 challenges were identified. Seven of these were not identified earlier in the literature. New challenges included legislation-driven challenges, mutual understanding of master data domains, and the level of granularity for those domains. Eight issues, such as data owner and data definitions, were MDM specific, others being more generic. All of the issues were identified as preconditions or as affecting factors for the others. Three of the issues were identified as pivotal. The issues emphasize strong alignment between the complex concept of MDM and the organization adopting it. Research limitations/implications: This research was based on a single qualitative case study, and caution should be exercised with regard to generalizations. The findings increase understanding about the complex organizational phenomena. The study offers public sector and private sector practitioners insights of the organizational issues that establishing a MDM function can encounter. Originality/value: The issues discovered in the research shed light on the strong alignment between the complex concept of MDM and the organization. The results of this study assist researchers in their endeavor to understand the organizational aspects of MDM, and to build theoretical models, frameworks, practices, and explanations.