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Resolve Consolidated Reporting Problem in multiple BI systems through SAP MDM

Management uses BI reports for planning, Strategies and making Business Decisions.  BI systems get data from multiple systems to give consolidated data. However all transactional systems maintain their own master data which in turn is sent to BI. Thus Master data in BI is quite redundant and does not show single version of truth. Due to this, the Management gets wrong reports/information about organizations performance which leads to wrong planning and decisions.

We will try to address this issue with the help of Master Data management solution so that Management gets true view of global business and thus enabling them with unified business information for optimized operations and faster and accurate decisions.

Current Scenario

Organizations, due to various reasons like across geographies, mergers and acquisitions, best of breed products landed in scattered and distributed IT landscape. With the introduction of BI for reporting, currently organizations have respective BI systems for reporting according to geographies, systems, units, functionality. Every transactional system needs to create its own master data as master data drives transactions. These transactional systems are usually connected to their own BI systems and do not share their data with other systems due to various reasons like complexity, number of connections, cost of maintaining connections, lack of governance etc.  Thus every BI system ends up getting master data from their own transactional systems and which in turn fed to corporate BI system for consolidated reporting. Without consistent master Data, data warehousing becomes garbage in, garbage out.

Due to all this master data in BI is quite redundant and does not show single version of truth. Hence the Management gets wrong reports presenting wrong information about organizations performance which leads to wrong planning and decisions. The management might be looking on the reports which will be showing 1 single customer as 3 or more customers (e.g. John Kennedy, John F Kennedy,  J F Kennedy etc) or same with vendors ( e.g. Satyam, Satyam Computers, Satyam Computers Services ltd etc).  Surveys show that more than 70% decisions are made wrongly because of incomplete or wrong reports/information. Even organizations spend 30% of their time to verify the reports/information.  There’s a organization which found that their 40% of orders struck because of mismatched master data.

  BI system have ELT layer which is specially made for reporting use only. Unfortunately it is not configured and optimized for cleansing Master Data. Also organizations are maintaining and trying to solve master data problems for many years by their own methods and tools. By this organizations were trying to heal the symptoms but were not able to solve root cause of master data problem. Industry has recognized this problem and coming up with a tool to manage master data.  With the evolution of MDM tools, organizations will be able to benefit by best practices, reduced efforts and ease.  Also maintaining master data outside of BI system will help  

Below are two scenarios showing organizations distributed IT landscapes. 1 – Organizations BI landscape as per geography

 bi 3

                        Scenario 1

This scenario describes organization landscape as per geography which is distributed across geographies to cater the local and corporate reporting requirements. 2  –  Organizations BI Landscape as per functionality


                                                Scenario 2

This scenario describes organization landscape as per different functionality such as finance and logistics separately. Approach

Single version of truth of master data across organization can be achieved through introduction of MDM system.  There’s a organization which found that they had 37% duplicates vendors in their systems.

Since we are handling master data of organization, the introduction of MDM system should not be disruptive to other systems and business in mind. Thus small steps approach is recommended for approaching master data management system in organizations. For consolidated reporting giving correct reports, 2 approaches are suggested. The 2nd approach has 2 steps. However organization can go directly for approach 2.2, however decision has to be taken as per disturbance to existing landscape. Also Strong Governance mechanism has to be in place is suggested for CMDM.

Approach 1                Harmonization across BI

    Approach 2.1                Master Data from Legacy Systems

    Approach 2.2                        Central Master Data Management (CMDM) 1 – Harmonization across BI systems only

Here, will not interfere in organizations current master data flow or mechanism thus not becoming disruptive in current landscape and processes. We will take master data from BI system only, cleanse it and map it and send back to BI systems. The MDM system will send back the mapping of local BI IDs with global MDM IDs.  By this approach, management will be able to get reports on both local BI IDs and global MDM IDs. 


Approach 1    Harmonization across BI systems to achieve consolidated reporting


.  Derive immediate benefits from consolidated master data through BI reports

.  Mitigated risk of using MDM in the transactional landscape

.  Immediate benefit by control on Master Data of newly Merged and Acquired Companies.

.  No Interface is required between MDM and BI

.  Not disruptive to existing landscape


.  Master Data integrity is not achieved throughout the organization and only for Analytics 2.1 – Master Data from Legacy Systems

In this, we introduce MDM system to transactional systems, before BI systems layer.  MDM system gets all the master data from source systems and maintains it. Afterwards this cleansed master data is passed to BI systems to get correct reports based on consolidated and cleansed master data. Here also we are not interfering with source systems and source systems continue with their own master data creation and processes.

However it is still not solving the root cause of the problem. Hence after this organizations should go for next approach.


Approach 2.1    Master Data is coming from source systems and fed to BI


.  Immediate benefit by control on Master Data of newly Merged and Acquired Companies.

.  Ensures data integrity across Transactional landscape

.  Sets stage for easy re-use via distribution or business processes that directly leverage consolidated data.

.  Sets stage to achieve CMDM 2.2 – Central Master Data Management (CMDM)

This is true Master data management. However organizations need to prepare themselves first to approach this and careful planning needs to be done. This approach will fail if strong governance mechanism will not set in place. 

CMDM will be the central master data management system, thus it will maintain all the master data across organization landscape. This will result in single version of truth across organization landscape, and definitely reporting.


Approach 2.2    Consistent Master Data is coming through CMDM

 It’s upto the organization to implement CMDM as per their convenience, readiness and governance mechanism.  There are two ways to achieve CMDM:
1.   Organizations can continue to create master data in local systems and then get it cleaned and synchronized to respectable systems with the help of MDM.
2.   Organizations create master data centrally in MDM only and then sent back to respective systems to maintain synchronized version of master data across their landscape.


.  Centralized management of master data

.  Ensures data integrity through Enriching and Standardization of  master data across landscape

.  Centralized Governance – Ensures that data changes in one application, other business applications that depend on that data, are updated with a consistent view of key data as it changes in real time.



MDM Benefits

Below are the benefits which organization will get with the help of master data management.

·                  Global View of Business

·                  Single view of truth

·                  Optimized Operations

·                  Easy Integration of newly acquired systems

·                  Elimination of manual and Redundant processes

·                  Full Interoperability

·                  Greater Visibility

·                  Better Accuracy

·                  Reduction in maintenance cost

·                  Faster cycles MDM Benefits

·                  Easy Integration with non-SAP, SAP and BI systems

·                  Predefined content for configuration

·                  Driving eSOA

·                  Java enabled content for EP and other external systems

·                  No coding required, easy configuration

·                  Workflow in windows based Visio


Company:   Satyam Computer Services Ltd.

Role:   Projects Lead / Project Manager

Above shared views are my personal views and might not synchronize with my company views.




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