(I apologize in advance for the "boringness" of this blog, I'm working on making it more visually pleasing :) )
Information architecture is a vital part of any company. In my web analytics course we were talking about the importance of focusing on your intended audience and to not think that one solution directly translated to different languages will be able to serve people anywhere in the world. The web portal or company's web site needs to be flexible enough to cater to the different cultures it serves and at the same time be able to access the same data and present it at the user's end in the appropriate, cultural friendly way. I believe we discussed this concept as data federation--the ability to treat all your data in its various forms as one source and be able to use that data anywhere. The website becomes somewhat of a decorator to the data you have stored to hide its complex architecture from the end user (whether he be a potential customer or even an employee).
Master data management seems to be a way to eliminate or at least minimize any possibility of an update anomaly.
Data is necessary to making good decisions. The better the data is organized, the better decisions can be made, and the more informed they will be. (with regards to business processes, gives them an edge over the competition)
It's like watching a movie, you don't see everything that went into the making of it, just a well put together conglomeration of all the research, rehearsing, time spent in making the film.
ETL- Extract, transform, and load
The server that does this data federation is middleware.
The last article dealt heavily with IBM's methodology dealing with Master data Management.
Master data management: the business process, applications and technical integration
architecture used to create and maintain accurate and consistent views of core
business entities across disparate applications in the enterprise.