What is master data?
Gartner defines master data as the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies and chart of accounts.
In simple terms, master data is the core data needed by any organization for their business operations. Master data can include data about customers, vendors, suppliers, material and much more based on the industry. It is a challenge to ensure the consistency and quality of the assets when organizations deal with large amounts of master data from a variety of sources. This has led organizations to implement Master Data Management solutions to standardize, cleanse and govern master data across different systems.
Why is quality of master data so important?
Businesses need to rely on high-quality data for quality decision making and efficient business operations. Poor quality data can have negative effects on customer relationships, business decision making, and forecasting. To make the best use of data available in any organization, the data should adhere to some basic qualities throughout multiple systems: integrity, completeness, accuracy, freshness and consistency.
There is a significant impact on the business when master data is of poor quality that includes the following:
- The increased cost of having to take corrective measures when erroneous data is detected in downstream systems
- Legal implications can occur if the master data is incorrect especially in the case of highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals
- Delay in business process execution on account of an incorrect billing or shipping address resulting in a missed payment or poor customer experience
- Incorrect reporting due to missing or incorrect data which in turn leads to the wrong business decisions
SAP Cloud Platform Services for Data Quality Management
S/4HANA Cloud for Data Enrichment enables you to enrich your master data by consuming data from data providers, eliminating the risk of errors in manual data creation. The objective is to industrialize the use of third-party data for enterprise applications and make it economical for the customers to find, procure and consume relevant datasets in a timely fashion. Apart from providing data as a service, SAP S/4HANA Cloud for data enrichment supports integration with Manage Customer Master Data and Manage Supplier Master Data Fiori apps in SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. You can either enrich a single business partner record, or existing business partner data records in bulk using the mass enrichment services offered by the data enrichment solution. You can also use SAP Data Hub for configuring the mass enrichment services in the data pipeline. Data Enrichment provides on-demand data from one or more data providers, out-of-the-box integration with SAP applications: S/4HANA Cloud and On Premise and SAP Master Data Governance, eliminating data setup and integration costs. Data Enrichment will provide external data, in a reseller business model, from major data providers covering all domains, industries and geographies in subsequent releases. SAP App Center will be used as a sales channel in an agent-based business model. Data Enrichment also plans to provide external validations of critical master data entities like VAT, Bank Account etc. from third-party data providers in later releases.
- Automation in business partner creation with third-party data
- Operational efficiency on account of high-quality data upfront
- Enrich existing records with data from external data providers
- Define data views that serve as templates for data query and consumption
- Monitor the organization’s usage of external data
- Provide external data from major third-party data providers – D&B, CDQ
- Out-of-the-box integration with SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP Master Data Governance
- SAP App Center used as a sales channel in an agent business model
- Trial versions of data subscription available in SAP App Center
Data Quality Management Microservices for location data, embeds address cleansing and validation as well as geolocation services within any business process or application interface. These microservices validate and correct all addresses across the globe automatically. The geolocation services determine the GPS coordinates and convert them into valid addresses. These complete standalone services are powered by SAP Cloud Platform and are instantly accessible through the built-in integrations with different SAP solutions – SAP Business Suite and SAP Data Services, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. Whether the application infrastructure is on premise, cloud, or hybrid microservices for location data eliminate infrastructure costs and operational complexity. The simple microservices architecture and configuration interface make it easier to integrate microservices for location data with the customer’s custom or third-party applications as well. The pricing model is based on the consumption measured by the volume of transactions resulting in maximizing the value of IT spend. The DQM microservices are also accessible through SAP API Business Hub.
- Verify address as per postal authority reference data as correct
- Standardize the way the address looks and is structured
- Correct components of an address, if incorrect
- Enhance an address with missing attributes
- Assign diagnostic codes which describe why the input address is incorrect or what was corrected
- Append latitude and longitude given an address
- Provide address(es) given a latitude and longitude
Customer Use Cases
Let’s take the example of a manufacturing company. This company manufactures automobile spare parts and ships globally. Their business includes different master data – customers, vendors, employees, products and so on. The company has completed the implementation of SAP S/4HANA to optimize their historically evolved processes and to settle on more standardized processes.
A master data specialist wants to ensure that the existing business partners in the system are accurate and complete. To enrich the millions of records, the user starts a mass enrichment process in the system.
A common task of a master data specialist is to create new suppliers and customers. To ease the creation and maintenance of business partner data, data enrichment application integrated with SAP S/4HANA is used to import data to the business systems. Before creating a new customer or supplier, the business partner details are searched in the third-party data providers using the data enrichment API. Once the relevant record is found, the record is imported to the system with just a click of a button. The Data Quality Management services are integrated with the business to ensure the accuracy of the address and geolocation prior to saving the record to ensure maximum data quality.
Before shipping the finished goods, the Data Quality Management services for location data ensures that the shipping address is valid and complete. The geocoding of the address data helps to maintain the correct location and ensure that shipping is hassle free.
SAP Cloud Platform services for data quality and enrichment ensures the quality and completeness of the business partner, vendor and customer identity to streamline enterprise workflows and improve business insight. Thus helps the customers to create and maintain high quality master data throughout its life cycle.