Peeriosity Insights: Recent Research Findings Summarized insights. To view detailed research results, contact us to inquire about membership.

Master Data Management in Shared Services


There are many types of master data within every business, including employee, supplier, customer, material, and financial.  Leading companies are keenly aware of the importance of Master Data Management, and the role that Shared Services can play to ensure that Master Data processes are properly designed and administered.  

Master Data Management – creating the definitions and logical relationships that guide all business transactions – is like managing a DNA strand for your business.  While it isn’t the “magic” that allows your business to grow and flourish, it provides the necessary structure to ensure that all vital business processes run smoothly and business analytics (“Big Data”), used for decision support, are created using reliable and consistent data.

iPollingTM Results Review

A recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology looked at the status of companies in having a defined Master Data Management function and, if so, how that is being staffed.  Looking at the poll results, a large majority (81%) of companies now have a defined Master Data Management function in place, with another 13% currently evaluating the option of doing so. 

Clearly, with the widespread adoption of major ERP systems, such as SAP and Oracle, having a well-defined and structured Master Data Management function is almost a necessity in order to keep these complex systems properly configured.

iPolling: status at your company in having a master data management function

The second poll question then addressed how the Master Data Management function was primarily staffed, since a number of approaches can be viable.  While a variety of positions are typically utilized, especially in larger companies, for 42% of companies business analysts are the primary type of role to staff the Master Data Management function.  It was also particularly interesting to note that IT analysts filled that primary role type at just 10% of the participating companies.  It is apparent that most companies consider Master Data Management as more of a business role than a technical one, and that the skill set for this type of role needs to include such attributes as the ability to communicate well with internal customers and a solid understanding of how the overall business operates, as well as a familiarity with the major process areas found in such functions as Finance, HR, and Operations.

iPolling: how master data management function is staffed at your company

Some comments made by Peeriosity member companies related to this poll include the following:

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member: Most of the Master Data Management is centralized in the Shared Services function. A few exceptions exist based on the type of Master Data (i.e customer, GL) and geography.

Consumer Products & Services Member: Most Master Data functions reside in Shared Services, but there are still pieces of Master Data in the business. Staffing is both clerical and business analyst level. Operational defined tasks are done by clerical level staff and second-level support, projects, and governance are done by management-level employees.

Manufacturing Member: Considered/discussed at various times, but no action was taken. Master Data functions are spread among various functional areas.

Consumer Products & Services Member: Manager supported by analyst and clerical staff.

Manufacturing Member: Master Data Management is centralized in the SSC organization. It covers finance, purchasing and sales master data. Master Data Management maintains customers, suppliers, and GL accounts. Soon material master data will be centralized, as well.

Consumer Products & Services Member: We are implemented & staffed for parts of the Master Data scope, but we are evaluating the scope and/or if there is more/less we should add.

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member: We have specific teams created to oversee our ERP creation and usage of Vendor, Customer, and Material. We are in process of creating a similar team for Finance master data.

Consumer Products & Services Member: Assessing putting a more formal governance process in place. Also looking at Master Data Management solutions.

Media & Entertainment Member: We are currently evaluating ERP systems and this is a key component of the process improvement. I would imagine it would be staffed with multiple levels of personnel.

Manufacturing Member: Staffing is a combination of business analysts and clerical.

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member: Master Data is handled by Associates.

Manufacturing Member: The Master Data Management is centralized in the GBS, and Business Units are responsible for Master Data review and approval.

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member: SAP performance in a single instance is heavily dependent on the quality of Master Data, so it was (and still is) a very highly prioritized activity.

Closing Summary

With a new emphasis on business analytics to drive competitive advantage in the marketplace, Master Data has never been so important and is, indeed, the DNA of decision support. Shared Services is in a unique position to lead the way to ensure that clean, high-quality data is being used within work processes, analytics, and decision support.

How does your company approach Master Data Management, and what role does Shared Services play?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPollingTM.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

Are You Eligible for Membership?
Click Here to Find Out