The 5 steps to successful master data management

4 minutes

Every organisation has to manage an ever-increasing amount of data. Suppliers, customers, products, HR… every aspect of your business has its own datasets, all requiring regular updates. And of course, they need to work together to boost your business as well.

When implementing SAP S/4HANA, setting your master data up for success can be fraught with challenges. There are duplicates to watch out for, integrations don’t always run smoothly and the data itself can be poor quality and unreliable. Fortunately, in just a few steps we help you build the foundation for strong and reliable master data reports – which, in turn, serve as a foundation for your business.

Things to look out for when optimising your master data strategy

  • Make sure your organisation is ready for master data governance – this may require change management.
  • Always think carefully about each master data workshop – preparation is key!
  • Clear enough time in work schedules, so your data governors can be committed and are available.

Ready to make your master data work for your organisation? Follow these 5 steps to spruce up your master data!

Set up master data governance

Reliable master data starts with good governance. By implementing a clear chain of ‘command’, you make sure that only the people who need access can interact with your data. This minimises the risk of tampering, whether intentional or by accident. While setting up your master data governance, keep these 6 steering principles in mind:

  • centralise your master data governance organisation
  • standardise and your master data processes
  • define your master data assets
  • set up data-quality metrics (see step 4)
  • rationalise your data sources
  • create a single point of truth for all your master data

Install Global Process Owners (GPO)

Appoint a global process owner for each of your business processes – finance, sales, payroll, marketing, etc. They will be responsible for their department’s data, as well as being the first point of contact for both the master data team and colleagues from specific business process. In larger organisations, the GPO can be assisted by a data governor and data stewards.

Global process owners

Assign master data assets to GPOs

Once your GPOs are in place, assign specific master data assets to them. For example: the procurement GPO is responsible for supplier data. By making every GPO responsible for their own part of the master data, the core master data team can focus on keeping an overview and regularly check in with the GPOs as required.

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Set up data quality metrics

With the framework in place, it’s time to take a deep dive into the data itself. To ensure strong data quality, you will need to select quality metrics that help you evaluate the quality of the data. In doing so, Flexso creates or extends CDS content in S/4HANA to empower your data governors and data stewards to measure the master data quality. Together with your team, detailed workshops are organized to define all data assets and the proper quality metrics to measure them.

Measure your data quality

Framework? ✅

Metrics? ✅

Then it’s time to get measuring!

Quality Dashboards - Master data governance

Keeping your master data clean is a continuous process. New data gets added every day, and old data becomes superfluous or outdated fast: suppliers who are no longer active, products that aren’t sold anymore, new customers… Stay on top of this as much as you can, and filter out the waste to make sure your organisation’s reports and insights are relevant. As the master data team, you are first in line for shaping the future of your organisation. The same metrics, set up in S/4HANA can be used to create Managerial Master Data Quality Dashboards.

The result: a reliable base for your business

Once you’ve successfully implemented these 5 steps, it’s time for your business to reap the rewards: gain real business insights based on detailed reports, increase your efficiency, and work with qualitative data without any duplicates, allowing you to be more proactive. Everybody wins!

Ready to tackle your master data?

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