Why doesn’t my system work? Your data is rubbish!
How many times have you heard the users complain that the system doesn’t work? Then when you investigate you find that a key piece of data is missing and the whole process failed as a result. This is a common occurrence; many times the system gets blamed for what is a data problem.
How do you fix this? The answer is multi-faceted – with four major steps.
- Make sure there is an owner for the data, someone who takes responsibility for the completeness, consistency, conformity and accuracy of the data.
- Make sure it is clear what the standards and business rules are that the data needs to conform too. Ensure the people who are entering the data know what is required of them.
- As far as practicable, get the system to enforce these standards and rules at time of data entry.
- Set up the appropriate monitoring, reporting to identify problems with the data and then take the actions required to fix the problem and prevent the problems from occurring again.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, as people know it is far from easy and requires people who are dedicated to getting the data right. Part of the answer is to ensure DATA has its own stream in the ERP implementation and that it is handled by people who are experts in data. They need to understand data migration, data quality and how the data is going to get used in the new ERP system.