Any Successful SAP HANA Initiative Better Have SAP MDG Along for the Ride

Blog_ImageBusiness Intelligence (BI) has been, and is going to be a big differentiator for companies for years to come. Historically, Business Intelligence practitioners knew what questions they wanted to ask and that the answers were available; but the problem was that by the time they figured out how to execute against those answers, the opportunity had passed by. With SAP HANA as the foundation for the transactional ECC system as well as the BI layer, that restriction does not exist anymore. The immense amount of data that a system like SAP HANA can store, analyze and report from removes almost any technical limitation BI analysts had in the past. Therefore, the companies that can ask the right questions, make the correct decision and execute efficiently against the strategy will be the ones that win.In today’s data-driven world, bad data can affect your business much more than individual transactions not processing smoothly. Large-scale, business-changing decisions are made based on answers derived from data, if those answers have been generated by bad data, the risks to the company can be catastrophic.

With SAP HANA and the popularity of Self Service BI methodologies, there is no limitation on what data can be used on a report or ad-hoc query. Because all of the data is in-memory and available in real time for any report, there is no longer the opportunity to perform data scrubbing the way some organizations have traditionally done it in the past. This new possibility puts a bright light on the current data management program strategy, while probably effective previously, may not be sufficient to provide the data quality necessary in time to support real-time analytics. Therefore, organizations going down the SAP HANA route will need to rethink their data governance strategy for most objects to a more Active or Point of Entry governance method to increase the percentage of data entered in accordance with the organizations standards and rules the first time. In more and more situations, organizations are choosing to implement SAP MDG for their critical master data domains to improve their data quality upon entry into the system.

In order to effectively implement SAP MDG, or any other front-end active data governance solution, high quality definition of workflows, rules and standards is paramount. Groups that dive directly into tool implementation will make incorrect design decisions in the attempt to overcome lacking functionality content. These decisions will usually result in a large amount of rework once the users get to touch the system during one of the test cycles.  In many cases, the project will either fail to gain the confidence of the business users, or there will be a sizable rework project that will delay and potentially limit the value realization to the business. 

Today’s competitive landscape requires companies to use real-time intelligence to find answers and execute against them. In order to do that, data needs to not only be trustworthy, but also have sustainable trustworthiness through the implementation of managed data governance at the point of entry. DATUM provides the Information Value Management® platform to help clients like Johnson Controls define business rules and standards prior to launching SAP MDG & SAP HANA on Fiori.

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