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Strategic Information Management: Good Data, Better Decisions

Not long ago a colleague asked me if I knew how many decisions I make in a typical business day. I responded with a SWAG (scientific wild a—guess) that I guess was pretty good because he didn’t dispute the number. But as he walked away, jotting the figure down on a note page, I hoped he wasn’t going to make a decision based on my answer.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/datam_341409.jpgIf you think about how many decisions – big or small – that employees make every day based on data they’re hoping is good, it becomes very clear why strategic information management (SIM) is replacing departmental business intelligence as the enterprise foundation for analytics.

Although I’m the grass roots type, I can appreciate the need for a top-down approach to delivering data we can all trust. What I can’t appreciate is that – now that we are giving data its due – data migration is so often treated as an afterthought in a SIM project.

As  SAP states in a white paper on best practices for SIM-related data migration, “it’s time to apply the same discipline in developing productive data sets as is invested in business process design.”

Best practices you can trust.

According to SAP, if you intend to implement SIM as the means to data integrity and trusted information, you should follow best practices and include six key data initiatives.

  • Data standards – Set the right foundation for data integrity with data standards for key master-data elements within the principal master-data objects.
  • Data migration strategy and methodology – Create and implement a plan that enforces alignment of business process designs with their related master-data rule definitions.
  • Business-critical data elements – Identify the key “to-be” data elements for business processes, reporting, and analytics.
  • Data elements essential to critical business process, reporting, and analytics – Identify the data elements required for reporting, analytics metrics, and KPIs – as well as those required to monitor and forecast internal and external business and market forces.
  • Data integrity – For global business-critical data elements, implement a change management process to maintain validity, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the data. Continuously monitor regional elements to maintain visibility, validity, accuracy, and completeness of that data.
  • Data management – Establish an organization that can ensure effective, ongoing data stewardship.

There’s much more detail on enabling strategic information management – including focused data migration strategies and best practices  in “Turning Data into Actionable information for a Competitive Edge.”  You might also be interested in how SAP data and technology services can plan and carry out an effective migration project.

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