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What is the difference between master data management and data governance?


What are key differences between MDM and Data Governance?

What are the practical differences in which each of these solutions is applied?

ITCS user
56 Answers

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The DG solution addresses mainly business glossaries, policies, rules, meanings, complainces like GDPR, DG worflows, table references, data catalog, data flow (lineage, impact) and data profing; MDM must manage the main data of the business domains (customers, suppliers, products ...) however MDM must provide meanings of terms/semantic and definitions of the master data, so there is an intersection area between both; DG is a umbrella and MDM is focused on specific subset of definitions.

author avatar

Data Governance is a collection of practices and processes which help to ensure the formal management of data assets within an organization.

Master data management is a technology-enabled discipline in which business and Information Technology work together to codify and ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of an enterprise's official shared master data assets. MDM is the systemic technology that enables and enforces Data Governance.

author avatarRony_Sklar
Community Manager

@Joel Embry ​thanks for a really simple and clear answer :) 

author avatar

A brief informal answer is that Master Data Management is a very specific data architecture to sustain a high-quality system of record aka "golden records" enabled by specialized MDM hub technology. 

Data Governance covers primarily the people and process elements of data management through the implementation of associated organizational structures, roles, responsibilities, processes and standards in order to sustain well-managed and reliable data across the organization. 

MDM and DG are complementary and each supports the other. 

author avatar

MDM solutions are more related to the technical process about data model (customer, supplier, material, products) and process for capture data, enrich data, quality of data, matching capabilities to avoid duplication, golden rules for records surviving, parse/parsing, etc. 

Data Governance is more related to the Central Process - to create a specific workflow to request and process requests for the creation and update master data through workflow orchestration with approvals and enrichment under governance with visibility of the process and SLA´s Indicators. 

You need to define a model for central or federate governance and create specific teams (with a responsibility) like Custodians, Stewards, Owners for each type of master data, and so on. 

author avatar

Data Governance (DG) is managing the data used in an organization for security, usability, availability and integrity. A sound data governance program includes a governing body or council, a defined set of procedures and a plan to execute those procedures.

Master Data Management (MDM) provides new tools, techniques and governance practices to enable businesses to capture, control, verify and disseminate data in a disciplined fashion. Combined with tools for data quality management, this provides the trusted information foundation that companies base their analytics on.

Find out what your peers are saying about Informatica, Microsoft, SAP and others in Master Data Management (MDM) Software. Updated: November 2021.
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