Are you asking me if my dirty data is a Master Data problem?

By Jim O'Farrell on April 30, 2013

We recently surveyed and interviewed hundreds of master data professionals from medium and large enterprises across the globe, conducting several quantitative surveys, along with a series of qualitative interviews. We’ll first look at the results from the surveys and then discuss the interview findings…

Participants from more than 20 different industry groups were asked to self-assess the master data situation in their organizations. The self-assessment scores ranged from 82% satisfaction at the high end to 61% at the lower end, which indicated that survey participants felt their organizations had good, or even very good, master data processes.

One key question in this survey was: “What do you estimate a single incorrect entry for a material create costs on an annualized basis?” 29% respondents estimated that a single incorrect entry for a master material creation costs an organization between $1,000 and $10,000 per annum. With a majority reporting 1,000 to 10,000 material creations per year and a 2% error rate, this amounts to $50,000 to $5,000,000 of lost revenue annually.

As I pointed out earlier, our self-assessment survey didn’t seem to indicate that organizations had big problems with master data governance. However, a completely different view emerged from interviewing hundreds of SAP master data professionals. These interviews consistently highlighted the problems of dirty data and fragmented, manual workflows.

For example, an interviewee from the oil and gas sector confirmed, “Yes, we chase tickets at least 25% of the time. ” A consumer goods professional noted, “Yes, we route Excel worksheets via email…There’s a lot of churn involved. ” And an interviewee from manufacturing revealed, “We do not have data stewardship…We use Lotus Notes to collaborate and do double-entry of data. ”

The moral of the story?

All is not as well as one may think or as Niels Bohr stated about 100 years ago “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”

Check out the full story by viewing our webcast on Master Data Maturity.


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