7 Secrets to Achieve High Data Quality

By Clinton Jones on November 23, 2016

How much is good quality data worth to your organization? Data has become an important enterprise asset, and some analysts in data management suggest that reliable data is an invaluable strategic asset. Without good data, you cannot engage in strong business data analysis. Business growth and expansion decisions often rely on data analysis and good data quality is an essential engine for growth in high-performance organizations.

The challenge with data is that it can be complex, and messy to work with. To complicate things further, many different people often handle that data. The variety of data is endless, and in many organizations it comes from countless sources in a variety of formats. It also deteriorates over time, so having a sound application data management strategy is critical to getting the most out of key systems of record like SAP. Here are a few attributes of good data to work towards that can separate your business from your competitors.

Attributes of high quality data

Man telling an astonished woman a gossip

To achieve the best results, your data must be:

  • Accurate – correct, precise and up to date
  • Complete – all possible data that is required is present
  • Conformant – data is stored in an appropriate and standardized format
  • Consistent – there are no conflicts in information within or between systems
  • Timely – data is created, maintained and available quickly and as required
  • Unique – where appropriate, there are no duplicates or redundant data elements
  • Valid – data is authentic, and proven to be valid, and derived from authentic and known sources

Does your business data match this criteria? Do you have a renewal project underway that involves a data migration?

Data is the last thing that comes to mind

Master Data PyramidNew applications are often sought to meet evolving business needs after requirements are defined. However data is often the last thing many organizations properly consider. When you look at a migration, most of the data sits in legacy applications and needs to be converted and migrated to the new environment. If you’re just implementing SAP, then the data and systems you are using are likely limited or have outdated documentation.

According to Gartner research, 83% of all large data migration projects suffer delays, and cost overruns, or fail outright due to not understanding the source data prior to migration. Data migration is a necessary step in modernizing IT infrastructure and streamlining business operations to reduce operational costs. However sometimes businesses hurt themselves for months after go-live by not having data with the seven attributes above.

As part of your risk mitigation plan for any data migration, data transformation or business transformation initiative, I highly recommend giving Winshuttle more than just a cursory glance. It’s an easy data migration tool that can be used as an alternative to free SAP tools like LSMW. It is also easy to dismiss Excel as a credible data staging platform when you are still stuck thinking Excel only supports 64,000 rows of data.

Going Lean

The good news is that Winshuttle is perfect not just as part of your data migration plan for testing and go-live, but it’s also great for sustaining and improving operational efficiency and effectiveness post go-live. Winshuttle is one of the few offerings in the SAP ecosystem that doesn’t require a complete redesign of your SAP application data management processes. It actually allows you to add additional layers of governance, audit and control to data management processes without compromising on system security, or having to engage in laborious and time consuming SAP application change management. Winshuttle does this by providing a Lean Data Management approach for SAP systems.

Thousands of global customers use Winshuttle every day with Excel, for thousands of different SAP transactions to create, retrieve and maintain SAP application data in a secure, robust and flexible way to meet those seven data quality goals.  Learn more by taking a look at Studio for individuals or the enterprise with Microsoft Office and Foundation for the same type of data management opportunities, with workflow and forms capabilities.


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About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.


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