Bad data can ruin even the best analytics. A commonly reported problem is “Our data is so bad we cannot trust it” or “Our data is sitting in silos”. This problem is often due to the limitations of many business systems. Data consistency for reporting is not a requirement of transaction processing, therefore the data that is not used directly for entering transactions is not correctly maintained. In Business Analytics circle we know that unused data is incorrect. Additionally, data from unrelated systems is difficult to maintain correctly. Business systems are not designed to coordinate maintenance values across multiple systems resulting in inconsistent data. When it comes to selecting a Business Analytics system, make sure the solution has self-service Master Data Management capabilities to help keep your data clean and your reports, dashboards and KPI’s accurate.
Key requirements of an effective Master Data Management solution
The ability to mash multiple values of the same attribute into a single value; For example: If tracking the color of a widget is important, make sure that the Business Analytics solution can mash WHITE, WHT, and WHIT into a single value for reporting purposes. This should be accomplished without having to change the original values in the source systems. This is particularly helpful when data is coming from multiple source systems (like through an acquisition). Mashing ensures that your data remain clean and relevant over time.
Real-Time self-service maintenance – Every company is faced with the challenge of ensuring that their master data is accurate. The analytics solution should have the flexibility to manage and maintain Master Data without going back to the legacy system. Most common entities that need to be updated are Customer/Vendor name and addresses, Product attributes, Salesperson assignments, and targets etc.
Data enhancement and maintenance– Every company has an ongoing need to capture additional information for which they may not have a placeholder in their current system. Your analytics solution should allow you to capture and maintain such details at all levels. This information can use real-time in your reports without having the need to modify the reports.
Bottom line is, business users, need is a self-service environment that gives them the freedom to manage the data and ability to integrate data from multiple sources real-time without the need to rely on overworked IT staff.
Have the data analytics work for you – instead of the other way around.