Whether or not your organisation is on a path to become a more data-driven enterprise or undergoing digital transformation, chances are greater focus is being placed on data in general. It is therefore imperative to understand the strategic importance of your data, and our data assessments are a good way to get started with that process” States Ben Strydom, Account Executive and Data Architect at GlueData Services.

“Our data assessment approach identifies data quality and/or process issues and potential breaches or gaps that could pose risk to projects or processes. Our unique methodology utilises data templates, rules repositories, pre-built elements and workshop accelerators.  This results in an accelerated approach that is low cost, quick and insightful.  It reduces iterations and provides real-time results, for example: we utilise dynamic reporting during the workshops.  The final results can be delivered within two to four weeks, and the deliverables are re-usable and provide a high return on investment.  For example, the rules master list can become a single point of control, used for Point or Entry control and data cleansing.” Continues Ben

A data assessment can take place at any time, however there are certain key drivers that highlight the need for an assessment.   If you are struggling with any of the questions below or are preparing for an integration or migration project, then now may be the time to complete a data assessment.

Data Quality or GovernanceData Preparation or IntegrationS/4HANA Data Readiness
• Are business processes, workflows and responsibilities mapped and governed?
• Are the data impacts of these processes and other elements known and controlled?
• Have owners & stewards been defined for the relevant data or processes?
• Are data management KPI’s defined and are they measurable/monitored?
• How will you manage Point of Entry control for data capture and change processes?
• How does data cleansing integrate into the data roadmap & strategy?
• Does a data quality management solution exist?
• Are business & data rules clearly defined and are they applied to relevant data sets?
• Does an adequate reporting and monitoring mechanism exist to validate and track data?
• Are both source & target system structures known and mapped, with transformation rules?
• Should data be prepared at source or in a dedicated preparation environment?
• Does business have a data preparation strategy and is data preparation effort known and planned?
• What is the state of data in the legacy system and does it conform to S/4HANA requirements?
• Has business dealt with data obsolescence, redundancy and general quality?
• Are transformation and enrichment requirements understood and planned for?
• Has a detailed analysis of source data been completed to inform the scope of the migration?
• Are cleansing & preparation effort and responsibilities known, and planned?
• By prioritising Data within the S/4HANA Roadmap, business can materially reduce risk to the Migration programme.

There are many benefits to be derived from these data assessments:

Make decisions based on facts, not assumptions

  • Assessment recommendations and the Data Quality Scorecard provide insight into future data strategies and plans and identify existing gaps

Get to grips with varying data sets, complex processes, transformation requirements etc. sooner

  • Being more familiar with the data set in scope serves to reduce risk and enables a pro-active approach – making ‘unknowns’, ‘known’

Reduce risk to projects before they start

  • Assessing the data is key to planning and assists in mitigating project delays and budget overruns

Identify subliminal or underlying issues or Business risks

  • Finding patterns and trends through data analysis and overlaying this with regulatory standards and industry/standard practices can highlight multiple areas of focus

Immediate approach and steps are better defined and underpinned by common principles

  • Assessment results provide guidelines for prioritising steps and realising return on investment from data initiatives

Support Data Governance, Master Data Management & Data Security strategies

  • Assessment initiatives promote effective communication and socialising of data management concepts and assist in identifying and defining roles for key stakeholders such as Data Stewards and Data Owners in support of the data strategy

Lasting impact

  • The mechanisms identified to measure and control data in the assessment can be applied to monitor and control future data solutions.
  • The principles resulting from assessments continuously inform the data strategy, with far-reaching impact.