Data is used in everyday life for decision making. Quality data adds value and helps the management to take effective and timely decision. Data is used to run day to day business, used for reporting, analytics financial metrics. It is data conversion manager and his team’s responsibility to make sure all the data is captured, transformed and loaded into the target SAP system.
Data Conversion process is making sure you migrate all your legacy data in a usable consistent format into your new SAP system with the right quality, dependencies, preserving usability by using right tools, right processes, right resources and at the right time.
When you convert data into SAP system from your legacy system consider the following points:
- What is the scope of data to be converted
- How much historical data to convert ( 2 years, 3 years, 5 years or more)
- Define data format in SAP system based on configuration design
- Mapping and translating legacy data to SAP format
- How to handle Data Translations and default values
- Data conversion design approach. What tools to use. (LSMW? DTT? Custom ABAP programs?)
- Strategy to scrub data. (in legacy system or using external tools like MS Access or Excel)
- How many mock conversion cycles? I recommend at least 3 mock cycles
- Establish Gate criteria for each conversion cycle
- Validate data loads. Spot check as well as compare in MS Access/Excel
- Line up Business team members to reconcile data
- Sign off from Business data owner
- Sequence data conversions for Configuration data, Master Data, Transactional Data
- Establish dependencies between each load
- Split huge data loads into multiple manageable chunks
- Data conversion loads should be designed to perform Validation steps independent to loading
- Error handling, re-load capabilities and load statistics
- Always use back ground jobs on the application server to have better and faster load rates
- Monitor system buffers and clear buffer periodically by running standard programs
- Create index on large table with huge data volume
- Schedule jobs on backend processors and monitor the loads during the loads
- Manage server usage during data loads
- Understand legacy system Processes
- Involve Business SME’s and SAP SME’s with expertise in that area
- Understand Configuration steps in SAP to derive dependencies, mappings, translations, default fields
- Create a conversion guide for your organization and socialize the guide among Technical, Functional, Business and Legacy data owners
By following these simple steps you can make your data conversion phases cleaner, simpler, efficient and effective.
Data Conversion Process is a Marathon, not a Sprint. But speed matters.