20 encounters of the information management kind - #2 SAP as the source system of choice


I have encountered quite a few companies that are now anticipating the move of as many of their source systems as possible into SAP.  I think this is probably a good decision for quite a few of these organizations.  However, in doing so, we must keep or create data management guidelines and principles that take into consideration data governance, integration and data quality.

For example, I have seen the "afteraffects" of moving to a new system without paying attention to data quality issues.  If you have read some of my earlier posts, you will encounter many stories about incorrect codes in the data warehouse environment that originate in source systems like SAP.  These issues are usually NOT the product's fault, but these errors occur due to the actions of those who create the data.  If you find suspect data in any source system(s), you may want to consider the following:

  1. Profile the data for each table created in the source system(s)
  2. Assess any interfaces that take data from the source system(s) and propagate it into another system (like the data warehouse)
  3. Consider creating business rules and processes to keep the data clean, and try NOT to "MacGyver" a view or process to overlook the suspect data – JUST DEAL WITH IT!  Otherwise, it will come back for you to address in a later phase or another project.  I believe that fixing the data issues now will save more time later.

While addressing your data issues now by finding ‘suspect’ data and assessing that data may not be part of your "current" SAP or new source system project plan, it should be part of the enterprise plan for information management.


About Author

Joyce Norris-Montanari

President of DBTech Solutions, Inc

Joyce Norris-Montanari, CBIP-CDMP, is president of DBTech Solutions, Inc. Joyce advises clients on all aspects of architectural integration, business intelligence and data management. Joyce advises clients about technology, including tools like ETL, profiling, database, quality and metadata. Joyce speaks frequently at data warehouse conferences and is a contributor to several trade publications. She co-authored Data Warehousing and E-Business (Wiley & Sons) with William H. Inmon and others. Joyce has managed and implemented data integrations, data warehouses and operational data stores in industries like education, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, government, health care, financial, oil and gas, insurance, research and development and retail. She can be reached at jmontanari@earthlink.net.

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