Reinventing Master Data Management

A Fortune 100 company with a highly decentralized financial infrastructure approached Zenda to conduct design research, providing recommendations to optimize the efficiency of its master data management (MDM) operations. Through observational research, we learned the MDM processing team was very knowledgeable in navigating the nuances of master data requests; however, they spent additional time resolving errors on request forms.

Collected data indicated that 1/3 of all master data requests were rejected by data processing teams due to errors on submitted forms. Further research identified a limited knowledge of master data from business requesters as a primary impediment. Additionally, the master data team received thousands of requests in highly variable formats, with 50 - 70% of those requests lacking necessary information. The MDM event consisted of time-consuming, manual workarounds. The master data team was highly skilled, yet the team’s efficiency was measured on transforming requester errors into actionable requests.

The Zenda team saw an opportunity to create a master data request and processing system that more effectively captures essential information, and reduces requester error through master data education and process automation.


    Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Health, Finance


    Design Research, Strategic Design, Business Analytics, Business Process Modeling, Enterprise Tool Design & Wireframing, Technical Tool Design


Zenda designers were integrated into the workstream alongside business and data stakeholders. The working structure allowed designers to facilitate alignment between various domains to co-design and create an intake process that validates and sequences master data request information. The new intake process gave the master data team a systematic way to submit, approve, revise, and reject requests that were now complete and accurate. Zenda designers conducted co-design sessions with project stakeholders to permeate master data knowledge throughout the new tool, allowing business requesters to complete and submit requests without the need for comprehensive training.

  • The master data team realized an 89% decrease in request volume and an 86% decrease in rejected requests, statistics previously unheard of by the master data team.
  • By reducing request volume, the highly capable off-shore master data team is able to expand capacity to review and execute requests, rather than reconciling incomplete and inaccurate requests one-by-one with each business requester.
  • The new intake processing experience for master data validations, sequencing, and guidance enables business requesters to create new, more accurate requests with minimal training, important savings in time and change management spend. This further provides the data governance teams with higher quality data, allowing them to validate and process submissions faster and more effectively.
  • Zenda designers provided technology and data stakeholders with a highly detailed operating model visualizing various requester paths throughout the updated master data request system. The model is an actionable roadmap designed to grow with the ever-changing nature of master data, while retaining the needed request quality.