Skip to Content
Author's profile photo John Cardaris

ASUG Data Governance Conference: Blue Buffalo takes the 2016 IGgie Award

The IGgie Award, (a.k.a. The ASUG and SAP Information Governance Project Award) is given each year at the annual meeting of the ASUG Data Governance special interest group. It recognizes one member whose project exemplifies information excellence. At this year’s conference in Atlanta, Director of Data Governance John Jones accepted the award for his team’s work at North America’s fastest growing pet food manufacturer, Blue Buffalo.


Here are some highlights from the winning submission:


Business Case

Implementing a complete Data Governance Solution was critical for Blue Buffalo’s continued growth and to maintain their #1 brand status in the wholesome natural pet food segment. In 2014, the company launched a 3 phased approach starting with data quality monitoring, and eventually growing to included data lineage and data cleansing and matching. This process leverages HANA, SLT, SAP Information Steward, SAP Data Services and SAP Data Quality as an integrated data governance solution.  Blue Buffalo runs lean from an IT resource perspective, but has a demanding business environment. Therefore the IT architecture needed to be agile with the ability to grow and integrate data from SAP and non-SAP sources.  The new data governance process relies on automation to proactively detect data quality issues, reporting to communicate data quality scorecards to key stakeholders, and documentation to improve user confidence and answers when numbers are questioned.


Business Impact

  • Greater confidence among the user community in the quality of the data, better/faster decision making
  • Eliminated $60k/yr for manual data quality reporting and $125k/yr for manual duplication/cleansing
  • Marketing and sales organization gained transparency into the cost of sales that was not available previously
  • Maturity
  • From a Data Governance Maturity Model perspective, Blue Buffalo is moving from Reactive (tactical fixes, no specialist tools, resource intensive, limited scope) to Proactive (culture change, specialist tools, master data validation, fix root cause).  This helps eliminate “fire drill” scenarios and ensure that data quality issues don’t cause delays to critical production and delivery processes. The data governance team is relatively new, and was only formed just prior to going live on SAP in 2013.
  • Relevance
  • There has been a shift from waiting for problems to arise to proactively looking for problems to fix.  Simultaneously, Blue Buffalo’s data capabilities have moved closer to the center of executive-level conversations.
  • The Blue Buffalo data governance team has become the central data maintenance hub for all SAP master data; everything moves through the data governance team.  Because of the capabilities and process rigor developed within the group, they have been asked to take on responsibility for non-SAP master data as well (for example, CRM account record maintenance).
  • Innovation
  • The master data team at Blue Buffalo is pioneering using new tools and expanding the use of existing ETL/BI tools to integrate data from core systems that could not previously be integrated without extensive manual effort (e.g. deduplication and matching of CRM Account address info and one-time ship to addresses found on SAP Invoice detail)
  • For more information about the conference and the IGgie award, please visit the ASUG Data Governance Special Interest Group or contact Diane Pickett at
  • For photo and video coverage visit our conference photo album here!

Assigned Tags

      1 Comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Dan Everett
      Dan Everett

      It was a great presentation.

      You can see all the presentations here. 2016 Data Governance Conference Presentations

      • Please note: You must be logged in to your ASUG account in order to access the presentations. If you do not have an ASUG account, please click here to create one.