Solving the dirty data dilemma and laying the foundations for continuous change and optimisation
Is manual data management holding back your business? Are data quality problems preventing you from getting the most value from your SAP systems, or are they adding complications to your S/4HANA migration plans? If you’ve been an SAP user for any length of time, the chances are that you will have answered yes to both those questions.
The benefit from any IT system is absolutely dependent on the quality of the data that underpins it – and that primarily means the master data. For most organisations, this will be the core set of business objects upon which transactions are performed, such as customer and employee details, product lists, physical locations, purchase histories and so on.
In SAP, maintaining master data quality has always been a challenge. Often, data has been entered and updated manually, for example via emails and tick-sheets, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. Often it resides in multiple silos, which can lead to duplication and inconsistency, and data management is manual and periodic, being cleansed and updated only at set intervals or before major system upgrades or migrations.
But with each generation, SAP adds more and more functionality and pulls in more and more data. Businesses are making greater use of SAP as a data hub, too. All of which means that the already-difficult task of managing master data manually is becoming impossible.
Instead, data quality needs to become an everyday activity, an integral and event-driven part of ‘business as usual’, and not a periodic (and highly time-consuming) exercise to try and bring things up to date and fix errors.
In short, it’s time to get master data management off the critical path. No one should be doing these data management tasks on an ad-hoc basis. They are repeatable tasks that can be automated and built into how your organisation works – and increasingly, the requirements of governance and compliance are going to demand that this happens.
This means implementing continuous processes to keep your master data up to date, via advanced policy-based automation and role-aware workflows and approvals.
These master data management (MDM) processes can, and should, open up participation beyond just the IT team, enabling business execs to safely and seamlessly participate in the process as well, with all the speed and transparency benefits that can bring. This is essential because if users are to get the most value from data, the issues of data quality and MDM need to be in their hands – with the necessary guardrails in place, of course.
Download the Business Fit paper to read more…
Bryan Betts is sadly no longing with us. He worked as an analyst at Freeform Dynamics between July 2016 and February 2024, when he tragically passed away following an unexpected illness. We are proud to continue to host Bryan’s work as a tribute to his great contribution to the IT industry.