Master Data: Everybody needs it, nobody wants to handle it!

You wouldn’t work in a building that looked like this, would you?

mds1Let’s set this picture aside for a minute and talk about Master Data.

Businesses who have implemented or are in the process of implementing a Tier 1 ERP Software package, such as SAP ERP, often spend a substantial amount of time and emphasis on designing transactional business process, key performance indicators (KPIs), and high power analytical tools. In today’s environment, companies are looking to technology—and specifically their ERP systems—to help identify business opportunities to accelerate growth: grow market share, expand to new markets, spot vertical trends and outperform the competition.

Accordingly, less resources are typically allocated to the foundation of these dynamic processes and reporting: Master Data. The main cause for unreliable business processes and misleading analytics is very often poor data quality.

We’ve discovered that most of our customers find the Master Data maintenance process to be complex, labour intensive, and time consuming to manage. These indications often impact the data quality and ultimately lead to governance procedure issues. Poor Master Data quality and undefined governance are indifferent to your industry, line of business, or what ERP software package you use. It affects us all. That is the reason SAP enterprise software provides a unique, integrated data model which allows flexibility and consolidation of multiple companies across geographical boundaries within a single system.

For a number of different purposes Master Data is used, modified, and updated simultaneously by multiple users within an organization. As each new user, product, or product line is introduced to the SAP system, the probability of input errors and inaccurate data grows exponentially. The more integrated the SAP system landscape, the quicker errors will widen, multiply, and compound—requiring rigorous and time consuming investigations and corrective actions. Unlike transactional data, Master Data has a longer shelf-life and is used to support complex business processes, requiring continuous governance and maintenance throughout the entire lifecycle.

It’s important to consider the following points when running SAP ERP software: You must first define the policies, processes and standards in order to fully realize Master Data governance success. In the interest of establishing these operational policies while ensuring quality integrity, the overall data governance strategy and related tools must be defined at the implementation phase. Doing this will help protect the quality standards in a user-friendly manner. The solution tool that you select should provide a scalable framework to easily adapt to new needs as your business grows.



Assess the state of your Master Data foundation with these questions:

Are your Master Data creation and maintenance rules documented and utilized in the SAP system where maintenance actually takes place? Are they aligned across all business units? Or are they scattered around your company via excel sheets, random documents, or tucked away in people’s minds?

Do you ensure that only allowed fields are changed in accordance with the rules? Are you confident that the Data is validated and approved by the correct departments? Or do you trust that manual errors is something that only takes place in your competitor’s organization?

Are you able to document which Master Data fields are changed and why?

If you cannot answer “YES” to all of the above questions, and you don’t want to go to work in a building with a shaky and unstable foundation, then NTT DATA Business Solutions and its solution, it.MDS (Master Data Simplified), can help by:

  • Providing out-of-the-box functionality and features that ease the maintenance of master data through business rules, automated completeness checks with SAP® ERP, and automated workflows for updates and changes.
  • Its profile-based functionality creates dependencies between master data objects and fields, and provides central rule maintenance and decentralized master data maintenance. The workflow supports approval of new master data entries and changes. In other words, master data becomes closely linked with business, while business rules and workflows support governance.

Want to learn more about how to manage your Master Data?

Check out our webinar: Master Data Simplified

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NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions

Our experts are keen to stay up to date with new developments and always share their insights, knowledge and opinions from all around the world. They cover a wide range of IT and business-related topics, including SAP and industry expertise as well as management issues. Most of them have gained many years of experience in the area of SAP - always close to the customer. That’s why they know the requirements of the market, of our customers and their customers’ customers/ partners. Get inspired and contact us if you would like to talk to them directly.

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