NTT DATA Business Solutions
Robin Brekelmans | January 28, 2019

it.mds: the governor of your data


Used throughout the entire supply chain, master data is the lubricant in contemporary business processes. But governing master data to ensure high data quality, consistency and reliability is a challenge. it.mds by NTT DATA Business Solutions offers a solution.

Master data quality

Master data plays a prominent role in every business process. The purpose of master data is to smoothen the process by providing relevant information. A large resource of well-maintained master data minimizes the need to manually add and check data to complete a process, and reduces the risk of error.

However, low-quality master data can lead to issues, ranging from mild inconveniences to serious issues for the entire organization. While a faulty price in a sales order can be resolved quickly, for example, missing component data in a Bill of Material can be a showstopper for the entire process and lead to serious financial damage. Proper upkeep of master data is therefore no mere nice-to-have, but an absolute must.

Master Data Governance

To ensure high data quality and reliability, organizations should structure the creation, maintenance and ownership of master data. Combined, these activities make up the concept of Master Data Governance. Solid Master Data Governance can prove to be difficult, especially when considering larger multi-plant companies. Large data sets, high turnover rates of, for example, materials and spread-out ownership of master data increase complexity. Key issues within these organizations to properly govern master data are to determine data ownership, to establish data maintenance procedures and to efficiently execute master data maintenance.

The solution: it.mds

During implementation projects, we at NTT DATA Business Solutions often hear about these challenges. Most customers are looking for a solution that improves master data governance, and hope to find it in an SAP environment. However, standard SAP does not offer the all-round solution that can satisfies their current requirements.

That is why NTT DATA Business Solutions has created an SAP ERP add-on called it.mds (Master Data Simplified). It is designed by our colleagues from NTT DATA Business Solutions Nordics and is now also available from NTT DATA Business Solutions Benelux. it.mds simplifies the creation and maintenance of master data and ensures data consistency across the entire organization. The solution is based on three pillars: Simplification, Governance and Automation. As an example, let’s take a well-known data object in every organization to illustrate its added value: the material.

it.mds: Simplify

it.mds simplifies the creation of materials by using dependencies between different fields and their values. The add-on captures the dependencies in so-called Business Rules that apply to these fields. When the user gives a value to a particular field, it will automatically give values to other fields depending on preset rules. This significantly reduces the complexity of creating a new material data object within a complex environment. It also reduces the risk of human error when creating new materials manually. It is made even simpler by the user-friendly environment and lay-out of it.mds.

it.mds: Govern

it.mds lets organizations govern the creation and change process of all their master data objects. Using a workflow framework, they guide the unfinished material master record to different users filling the fields relevant to their expertise. Someone authorized can then check and release the finished material master record. Authorization is key in data governance. This workflow approach helps to tackle the complex concept of data ownership, improving the controllability of creating new master data. Being a centralized solution, it.mds provides a single source of truth for product data.

it.mds: Automate

As explained earlier, it.mds allows organizations to set Business Rules that automatically fill data fields according to values elsewhere based on dependencies. The workflow structure enhances this, because it simplifies the completion of data object by multiple users. Also, (mass) changes to data objects are completed automatically by changing it.mds data profiles. This can cover a general field value change or correct structural errors in master data objects. Changes are applied throughout related master data objects that are affected. This, again, reduces the risk of human error and significantly reduces time needed to successfully implement a field change.

This post aims at illustrating challenges that organizations face in managing their master data, particularly when it comes to Master Data Governance. The it.mds solution simplifies the creation, maintenance and governance of master data, and therefore adds significant value to the business processes of our customers.

If you found this article on Master Data Governance interesting and you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to contact us:

Robin Brekelmans:          [email protected]
Bas Buijvoets:                 [email protected]

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