Master-Data Quality Management with SAP Master Data Governance and other SAP products
With the latest features of SAP Master Data Governance on SAP S/4HANA 1809 you can use data quality rules for analysis of your master data. This new process can be implemented upfront or in parallel to using change request processing of master data, for checking active data residing in your SAP S/4HANA system. Since the release of these new data quality management features in September 2018, I keep getting questions like Does this make SAP Information Steward obsolete? or Replaces this my implementation of SAP Agile Data Preparation?.
On one hand, the general answer is quite short: No – None of these products can do all of what the others can do.
On the other hand, a recommendation for a specific usage scenario is more complex: it depends…
Usually, I write about product features and explain their use. In this case I have all information at hand to make definitive statements. But when people ask such questions and seek my advice on their concrete usage scenario, it becomes much more difficult. This is mainly because I lack the complete picture:
- What is the complete list of requirements?
- Do you have a data quality management solution already in place?
- What other usages of an existing implementation are there today?
- Do you already use other capabilities of SAP Master Data Governance?
- Do you already plan to use these?
- What is your organization’s roadmap regarding master data management and data quality?
It’s definitively beyond my bandwidth (and not my role) to provide recommendation for specific situations. We have experienced consultancy services at SAP and also a highly competent partner ecosystem.
However, I can provide you with the following summary that could help you to make your own decision.
The data quality capabilities of SAP Master Data Governance focus on the data that is in the ownership of MDG (or the underlying S/4HANA). You can use these capabilities for data quality management regardless whether you use central governance, consolidation, mass processing or not, for example, to assess data quality upfront. Master data quality management with SAP Master Data Governance on S/4HANA provides the following benefits:
- Comprehensive repository for all data quality rules
- With a few configuration steps you are ready to go with data quality management that is embedded into SAP Master Data Governance and SAP S/4HANA; no development activities required, no installation of additional components or servers necessary, ideally without replicating data.
- A straightforward way for rule implementation, based on pre-defined master data models, including value helps, plus the strengths of the BRFplus workbench and the robustness of its execution runtime
- All data quality capabilities are accessible via the SAP Fiori Launchpad, making them available to all stakeholders in your organization embedded in their regular SAP S/4HANA work environment.
- The possibility to drill-down from high-level KPIs, down to direct access to active master data in one single place, benefiting from the integration into SAP S/4HANA, for example due to the re-use of application authorizations when analyzing evaluation results.
- Insight-to-action from where you analyze data quality findings to correcting detected errors eventually
Based on customer feedback, we plan to extend the functionality of S/4HANA 1809 further. Examples are:
- Support the business partner domain
- Provide enhanced support for customer-defined objects
- Rule-mining, based on machine learning technology to facilitate the rule-definition process
- Integration of the rule repository with further master data processes
- Enable a more efficient and automated correction process
In a nutshell, the mission is to achieve the best quality for master data in your S/4HANA system(s) and your entire enterprise application landscape by extending and integrating with all MDG-related processes, in the most efficient way, at the lowest possible implementation efforts and TCO, by following the same packaged-application approach as SAP Master Data Governance does.
SAP Information Steward and SAP Agile Data Preparation have a mission that slightly differs. In the case of SAP Information Steward, it is much “broader”: all kind of data is targeted with capabilities that include data profiling services, content type profiling, data lineage and more. This might come at a higher price for you regarding efforts for implementation or operation. However, this largely depends on your usage scenario. The mission of SAP Agile Data Preparation is to quickly transform your data, potentially from multiple, diverse sources into actionable and easily consumable information. Please see these pages for more detailed information:
In case you decide that SAP Information Steward is the optimal data quality management tool for your use cases, you can still benefit from SAP MDG’s capabilities for error remediation, based on error detection with other products of SAP’s EIM portfolio. Please see Master Data Quality Worklist on http://help.sap.com/s4hana -> Product Assistance -> Master Data Governance. I also recommend to read Steffen’s blog SAP MDG & SAP Information Steward: A perfect combination for Data Quality Remediation (DQR) scenarios.
As written initially, you need to make your own decision. However, based on the benefits listed above, I strongly believe that for many customers of SAP Master Data Governance the master data quality solution of choice is exactly the same: master data quality management with SAP Master Data Governance on SAP S/4HANA.