Master Data Management - Why Proper Records Management is Important

In an era where information runs through the Internet and access to data files has been simplified, one must learn the practice of maintaining and preserving records for safekeeping. In other words, the management of information and records is paramount to ensuring the accuracy and integrity of records.

Because of the larger volume of data organizations handle these days, it's important that practices and protocols are established, and appropriate information systems are employed for records management.

Proper managing of data helps companies in many ways, with some of the more common including:

•  prolongs institutional memory

•  provides a tracking system for actions taken

•  provides the basis for decision-making

•  improves efficiency

•  helps defend against litigation

•  ensures proper legal disposal of information

For industries like healthcare and many others, proper records management is also critical from a legal standpoint. Systems and processes must be in place to ensure records are disposed of in the proper, legal way.

Managing electronic reports poses many of the same problems that paper archives have. Large volumes of unmanaged information can create electronic chaos just as large volumes of paper can. For instance, duplicate, misplaced, or hard-to-retrieve files are all problems that can easily affect e-records.

In the case of electronic records management, there is also the problem of reconciling data in different formats.

Luckily in this information age though, proper software can aid in the task of putting order through files. Master data management can be easily managed by organizations of all sizes through the use of proper applications.

One of the tools that can be used by both businesses and individuals is Microsoft's Master Data and SQL services. The SQL Server is a Master Data Management (MDM) product that provides organizations with a central repository and hub for information. The software is able to not only manage data gathered by different applications, it's also able to manage integrity and consistency too.

The 2012 version of this program is actually even more user-friendly thanks to a Web interface and the ability to edit/add/delete data through a MS Excel interface (of which users are normally more accustomed to). Scalability, performance and security have also been addressed.

Master data can be collected, preserved and standardized, regardless of the format in which it was collected.

Proper master data or records management is critical to preventing data loss. It makes sure information is protected from the time it's filed or stored until it's retrieved, used, discarded or destroyed.

It just goes to show that master data and records management is essential to storing and retrieving info, as well as make it easier to locate and share when needed.

Master data are shared by several users and applications within a company, and can include things like names of customers, items, products, assets and accounts. Master data is in fact broken into four main categories (and further sub-categories). These main categories include:

•  Things

•  People

•  Places

•  Concepts

Another essential feature of software tools like the SQL Server Master Data Services is to create a single set of records that can be utilized by different departments.

For example, each customer of a company could have a single record in the system that's accessed and utilized by all departments. In this way, separate info is not kept by all divisions and the complete history of any dealings with the customer can be understood by all participants.

This avoids duplication of services and misunderstandings, and allows quicker resolution of problems and better customer service.

Costs can be cut by consolidating data since less storage space is needed. This also helps in emergency situations since backed up files can be reconstructed in one session rather than having to repopulate several different databases.

Integrity and accuracy of master data is paramount. Any mistakes with the data used by several different applications would affect different operations within a business. For example, a mistaken address would cause errors in shipping, invoices and communications.

Using tools like the Microsoft SQL Server Master Data Services can spare organizations several headaches as it can help them improve their business operations, compel them to comply with current regulations and in general, offer better management of its information flow.

To learn more about master data management and how the Microsoft SQL server can help your business better manage records and data, please feel free to contact experienced Microsoft consultants at Innovative Architects today.