SAP Master Data Management

SAP master data management refers to the synchronizing “master data” which is a company’s most important data that is about its products, customers or misc. assets for the enterprise. The systems are able to manage master data from a central system whose architecture may be a registry model, a persistent model or a repository or an approach that is hybrid.

SAP Master Data management allows you to merge master data from the entire system landscape and make it accessible within all of the company’s systems. It will approve the accuracy of the enterprise wide data that will be utilized in order to carry out business reporting and analytics. This will, in turn, assist in the improving of efficacy and accuracy in regards to your key business decisions.

What is SAP Master Data Management?

Master data is data that is not connected to a certain transaction, but it is utilized in various instances within a company’s enterprise, such as vendor lists, product descriptions and customer information. Moreover, it is the discipline for ensuring he consistency of a company’s data, enabling a single view of customer data or a product.

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SAP Master Data Management Best Practices and Implementation

Master data management has the ability to assist an enterprise with the reduction of costs and can result in efficient and clean data that is able to better support business processes and key requirements. The key requirements that can be better supported include the meeting of compliance standards within their particular industry.

It should be noted that the task of getting the software needed up and running can be quite daunting. Additionally, managing data governance and associated change management issues. Successful strategies rely heavily on identifying business processes that have been hampered by inconsistent data, according to analysts.

The development of a successful strategy begins with identifying broken business processes that are able to be remedied with improved management. Master data tends to come across like an infrastructure middleware or project, which is something that IT would sponsor. The line of business will need to sponsor the project because it is able to identify the business value the data holds and how a single view of the data can affect the bottom line. For the most effective results, IT should not drive this, but it needs to be involved in the process. Master data management is best described as a business paradigm that is changing the way a business thinks about data.

Getting Started With a Master Data Management Project

Different SAP applications have their own set of data models as well as ways of managing customers. Therefore, data warehouses are utilized more for the purpose of reporting. The best way to identify broken processes it to find he people whose jobs are affected by the data. Once that has been done, it is then that you should get started with a master data management project. Businesses are to begin building their management business case with the involvement of three different levels of the organization. Those levels are to be the following: the line of business people, the business owners (this includes the company’s vice president of marketing) and the C-suite.

It is ideal for companies to recruit people who have an impeccable balance of data views and the process. These individuals are to be high enough within the company that they have the ability to make changes, while low enough that they are quite familiar with the issues that can be caused via poor master data. Should a company have already invested in a data governance organization, it should consist of individuals from IT and business. This will provide representation of the technology that supports the organizational data and the business needs. They will need to be used as stewards to complete the much needed analysis. During that process, the following questions will need to be asked:

  •  What are the processes most in need of the data?
  •  What are the systems that are providing the data?
  •  Does assessment of the quality of that data improves consistency?

Should a company not have a formal data governance organization, it should begin by defining the priorities. Generally, if there is no official organization, the task is placed into the hands of either an enterprise architect or a project manager. Also, if a line of business is unable to articulate a business impact that is negative around the data, there is no reason for the company to embark upon master data management. Basically, if there is no squeaky wheel, there is nothing to be greases.

Avoid Mistakes and Pitfalls on the Projects

Companies need not to assume that going in, that the correct answer will be the consolidation of al master data into a singular repository at one end of the spectrum. There are a variety of ways that data can be synchronized and integrated. In turn, the data management is to be a cross-organizational effort. It is imperative that that the management plan be a cross-organizational effort. There needs to be some funding model that is associated with it that is able to engage the various parts of the organization and makes them all feel that they have “some skin in the game”.

One person is not intended to yield more power or political clout within the initiative in order for the project to be effective. Also, the lead is not to be technology either. Technology is to be a measure of support and not the main catalyst of the project.

Conclusion

When embarking upon SAP Master Data Management, it is only natural to seek out individuals that have “been there, done that.” It also makes a great deal of logical sense to utilize the talents and knowledge of those that have been successful in the area within their own companies. The only problem with that is, SAP master data management has best practices that are still emerging and it is not very easy to convince companies to discuss their experiences.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.