With SAP acquiring BusinessObjects, lot of specialized tools have been added to the kitty. The question now arises which one to use when & for what purpose. Many of these BO tools bring in repeatable functionalities that already exist in some form or other currently in the NetWeaver stack. Hence, it is more important to understand these capabilities in order to decide on the use of tool.
Also, one needs to understand the business requirement of the client / organization where you are implementing. Though advanced functionalities are now available, should we use another tool just for the sake of using these tricks or will it actually benefit the client in any way. Can the business requirements be achieved using features already available? Adding new tools is always jazzy & tempting but one must be wary that it adds lot of complexity to the architecture, infrastructure, data flow.
The below examples does a comparison between SAP MDM & BO DQ capabilities.
- On one hand we have a special tool for master data management with limited data quality capabilities & on the other we have a specialized data quality tool.
- Evaluating capabilities of two tools:
- Both have data quality capabilities. Validations for SAP MDM & Transforms for BO DQ. But the capabilities of BO DQ are much stronger than SAP MDM
- Both have de-duplication functionalities. While SAP MDM does not provide fuzzy matching capabilities, you more effectively find duplicates using BO DQ. But, merging of records, selecting individual fields for merged record is not possible in BO DQ. SAP MDM has an upper hand here.
- Data enrichment is not possible in SAP MDM. BO DQ has built in dictionaries for Address check, zip codes etc.
- Both tools have capabilities to connect to third party service like D&B. SAP MDM via the Enrichment Controller & DQ via web services.
- Data Management workflow capabilities of integrating users, data stewards in the data quality process is better in SAP MDM.
Based on these points, if one is going for a BO DQ + SAP MDM approach, to get the best results we can design all the data quality validations, transformations, de-duplication, enrichment in BO DQ & the master data management activities like data governance, business process etc in SAP MDM.