Definition - What does Master Data Governance mean?
Master data governance refers to the comprehensive management or handling of data within a system that are predominantly shared across different platforms and pieces of the business architecture. This type of data is called the master data.
Master data refers to the data that is most vital to a business in its operations. By some definitions, this is data that is duplicated in various parts of an IT system for effective reference. This definition is incomplete, however. Master data is a critical reference that is used in daily operations.
Consider, for example, a "places, people and things" approach to master data. Client identifiers, the "people," are references that get used in CRM systems, accounting programs, etc. Likewise, product identifiers, the "things" of the system, get referenced by these same programs. Some definitions of master data exclude transactional data, the "places," because, in financial transactions, credit card processing systems simply use the core "people" and "things" identifiers to document a transaction.
Master data governance then differs from master data management mostly in scope. IT experts use the term master data management to describe the technical handling of data, for example, the passage of data through a network, whereas they often use the term master data governance for a big-picture approach, one that takes in security considerations, the essential "value" of the master data, and that describes how to curate and protect the data in the field.