Companies will never truly eliminate data quality inconsistencies. But the goal is to get the volume to a manageable and sustainable level, acceptable to the Data Governance Team. 

“The largest challenge is bringing governance and control to master data. From daily management to Stewardship, to reporting, Executives are confronted with twin challenges. To gain control and keep control.” States Brett Schreuder, Managing Director at GlueData. 

A typical approach is to periodically prepare business cases and then deliver on long data cleansing projects where data is extracted in order to apply rules, only to enter the data back into SAP.  

Many companies train data specialists or implement a Centre of Excellence and a set of policies, business rules, and controls to ensure high-quality data. Where they struggle, is the ability to find a fit-for-purpose master data management application that is capable of ensuring high-quality data without overcomplicating the Data Steward’s daily functions. 

Let’s simplify this with SimpleData Management:

  • SimpleData Management, or SDM, is a multi-domain, embedded SAP application that requires no interfaces or specialist IT skills. 
  • To control a new Domain or Data Object, SDM is simply turned which results in role-based changes to the SAP screens based on business rules. 
  • Its features include Screen Control, Data Stewardship, Point of Entry validation and derivations, Data Quality reporting, and the Data Sprint Solution. 

SDM integrates SAP Business Rules Framework Plus (BRF+) into its core components and functionality so that, when deployed, business-relevant rules are defined per object, validate data at point of entry, when new data is entered or existing data changed. Fields can also be derived and screens tailored by role and user. More importantly, existing data is also validated against the same Business rules. 

SDM has reports that provide visual representation where the data fails the rules. This failed data is linked to Data Stewards who are responsible for the maintenance of the data. 

Stewardship in SDM is a role-based method that matches fields in the SAP Data Object to Stewardship roles in SDM. (This is not related to SAP authorisations or roles, but it is an SAP SDM configuration that SAP authorisations will supersede if there is any conflict.) 

The Data Sprint Solution provides the ability to measure and manage data cleansing by assigning users to cleanse defined sprints of field data. It provides a mechanism for the Data Steward to plan for a Cleansing Sprint in the following ways: 

  • Which SAP Data Object do I want to base the Cleansing Sprint on (Material, Vendor, etc)? 
  • Which Stewardship Role is applied to pull up those related field exceptions? 
  • How many exceptions do I want to include in the Cleansing Sprint? 
  • How long do I want the Cleansing sprint to run? 
  • When do I want to start the Cleansing Sprint? 
  • Which Data Stewards will perform in the Cleansing Sprint? 
  • Display some key metrics. 

When the Sprint is published, exceptions will be assigned to each of the Data Stewards who will then use the Sprint ID generated to resolve the exceptions assigned to them. 

The Sprint Manage transaction provides valuable information about the assigned exceptions: 

  • Status indicating that the message has been resolved when green and outstanding when red. 
  • Status indicating if Auto Propose is possible.  
  • Icon indicating if a field can be updated in with MASS transaction. This is configurable in IMG, allowing customers to choose which fields SDM can mass update, reducing the risk of mass updating in error. 
  • Auto proposes a value, derived from the Sprint Manage message (this can be overwritten if required). 

Data Stewards will have 4 options to resolve the exceptions assigned to them: 

  1. Right-clicking on the message and selecting the update field option. 
  2. Select multiple messages and update using the Process Multi Auto option. 
  3. Creating an excel file, which can be edited if required, to then be used in the MASS transaction, but accessible via the SDM Sprint Manage Screen, which provides all the feedback and statuses of updates for the Data Steward.  
  4. Right-click on the message and enter the change transaction to manually fix the message in the object. 

“SDM Sprint Solution embeds typical data cleansing projects into the Data Steward’s daily routine, eliminating the need for expensive projects that remove key people from business. We at GlueData believe this approach to data quality management puts the power into the Data Steward’s hands and the transparency and measurement into the hands of the data management team. The number of errors is immediately recognizable and the approach and speed to cleanse the errors can be planned and managed as part of the daily workload.” concludes Brett.