This past Friday, Simply ILM and partner firm Vortex Consulting joined a total of 29 sponsors for the very well attended ASUG Dallas/Fort Worth chapter meeting. In our session, we focused on the topic of data quality management, also known as “DQM,” which is a timely theme in larger discussions related to HANA best practices. Our gratitude goes to the chapter for the opportunity to present our session titled, “Data Quality in Document Flows: Common Problems and Practical Solutions.”
Data Quality Management & Junk Drawers
As the excitement builds with the promise of rapid deployment and transformation to Business Suite on HANA in the coming years, it gets me thinking about the universality of transactional data quality management opportunities. And why is it that with each new race to next generation technology, data quality–or the new buzz phrase “information stewardship”–is still crawling?
Then my eye turned to my kitchen junk drawer. My junk drawer has been with me for 17 years–and some of the stuff in that drawer, even longer. It’s the dumping space for things I know I need to do something with or may need later. Organizing its contents is just not a priority right now–some other time…when I have a few free minutes!
Maybe you can relate–and see where it’s easy to draw parallels between the two situations…
Cultural Transformation–Or “Same as it Ever Was?”
Several years ago, I brought the idea of data quality stewardship to a client. This organization’s data archiving outlook was not great because of a high percentage of business incomplete records. As I invited discussion around data quality management, it couldn’t have been more quiet in the room. In that moment, I thought to myself,”Whoa, this runs deep.”
In the time I have been working with data archiving/ILM, and even before then, leading plant site implementations, it seems the underground river that runs deepest is cultural transformation, aka “change management.” And data quality management often falls into this deep-rooted, sometimes difficult to address area of operations.
There’s a fantastic Talking Heads live video in which David Byrne sings “Once in a Lifetime” in a foam jumbo suit: “Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it EVER was….” When I hear the lyrics it brings to mind the days when I was leading plant (R/3) rollouts. Specifically, the compromises deployment teams balanced with the business to gain alignment and to meet the deadlines set on the IT department’s deliverables sheet. It was on IT’s incentive plan to deliver the project on time, business barriers notwithstanding. As I think back to that time, it’s now easy to recognize that this was a flawed approach out of the gate. The business participants were not as incentivized as IT.
A 2012 survey stated that 52% of companies indicated lack of business support in the form of resources and training as a “major” obstacle to Information Management.* Within that 52%, there are certainly many potential factors preventing the business from taking on projects and designating new areas, like data quality management, as a priority…lean teams, lack of knowledge, or perhaps functional support being shuttled offshore. On that latter point, collaborative process improvement between the IT and business teams can easily fall into the gray abyss in exchange for lower IT expense.
Data Quality Management: The Right Way
Transforming business applications and realizing the full potential of HANA requires a deep dive that analyzes where the accountabilities of transactional data quality stand in real time. In fact, this is the only way to avoid dumping the junk drawer into this major investment.
If your company is already archiving in SAP, or planning to archive and clean up for HANA, there is a lot of valuable information available that can be used to begin assessing business process opportunities and transforming them into solutions. Simply ILM has 20+ years of cross-functional and data archiving expertise to support your information stewardship transformations.
Our presentation highlighting the “worst offender” transactional document flow issues is available on the ASUG site, and members can find it here. If you do not have access to the site, please contact Deanna Mollett at firstname.lastname@example.org . Don’t hesitate to contact us for support in developing a comprehensive data quality management strategy for your business.
*Source: Ventana: CIOs Need to Make Information Management a Real Priority, August 8, 2012, Mark Smith