In this blog, I’ll outline the Data Strategy (from my personal perspective) and how it should be connected to the SAP S/4HANA Central Finance transformation projects. Of course, each organisation is free to run its own strategy and projects, but it’s helpful to get a perspective from experience and use cases.
I won’t go into detail about what Central Finance is, so it’s crucial that you read the blogs listed below if you want to benefit from reading the most recent posts.
Central Finance Overview – CLICK HERE
Click here to see how Central Finance programmes differ from ERP initiatives.
Let’s now attempt a summary of data and data strategy.
Describe data. Today, data is used in everything we read, surf, explore, and analyse. Any tweet or Facebook post counts as data, and any commercial transaction counts as data. It must be kept, whether locally or in the cloud (separate reading).
Organizations have vast amounts of data in the form of records, photographs, documents, and videos that are stored on numerous servers and systems and are constantly growing. To clean up the past, to keep the future clean, and to unify the data so that value can be extracted from that data, the majority of businesses in this day and age are undergoing transformations or changing the way they function. The major focus of CTOs, CDOs (Chief Data Officer in many organisations), directors of digital transformation, etc., is the development of a sustainable, adaptable, and measurable plan.
Data strategy, in my opinion, is a trip to gain competitive advantage by exploiting the data accessible inside and outside the firm and to make the future simpler by choosing the digital path. Additionally, it assists in demystifying the value to the company for clients, partners, and workers.
I’ll go into more detail about this in a later blog post on data-based transformation. The problems that firms facing their digital transformation face today include:.
- A number of ERP Systems
- Harmonizing Master Data Systems
- only one true source for master data
- Change Management initiatives include Make Clean, Stay Clean.
As we are concentrating on SAP Central Finance Deployment, we will limit our attention to Master Data and Transaction Data for the time being. There is constant misunderstanding among:
- How should my experience with Central Finance begin?
- What should the structure of my data be?
- Is data difficult, or should I pay attention to the technological aspects?
Data strategy is crucial from the perspective of central finance. The core theme of central finance is the flow, harmonisation, and utilisation of data for transactions, reporting, simplification, and data value extraction. I’ll make this blog easier to read by breaking it up into TWO sections:
Management of data: We can focus on data management as follows:
- Data cleaning – It is also closely related to data harmonisation. For instance, the system has two payment terms that are comparable: Z001 is 30 days net and Z099 is 30 days net. Why? It may be a mistake or merely a historical occurrence, but it’s best to remove all unnecessary data from the system because you’ll need to map the objects when you install Central Finance. It is important to harmonise data and establish a single design that can be used throughout the entire organisation and provide value in terms of usage and reporting.
- Data clearing – Organizations frequently have a large number of open items in the system that are, in fact, cleared from a business viewpoint but not from a system standpoint. Example: A $100 invoice and a $100 payment are both logged, but the invoice is not yet paid in full. If we do a good job of clearing all such open items we can substantially reduce the load and errors and which can be translated into time & money. If we do not clear it, we have the responsibility to load both these lines from source system to SAP Central Finance system. I’ve observed businesses keeping unopened things worth millions of miles.
- Data Migration: In order to build or migrate the master data in the SAP S/4HANA system, we must first load (first load – CLICK HERE) the transaction data. The Central Finance system must have data loaded and mappings maintained before transaction data can be submitted, regardless of whether it is automated, manual, or a hybrid.
- Data Replication – This is a continuous process that occurs as new master data is created. We shall cover it in more detail in the data governance section.
Governance of data: Prior to implementing data governance, we must categorise or determine the type of governance for which our company is ready.
Let’s compare the two elements in light of the Data Governance arguments.
The choice of the governance style is entirely up to the company, but using a centralized form is advised. Organizations may face unique difficulties, but the majority of them can be handled through centralization. Let’s look at the solutions to the issues we covered in the first part of this article and how they can be handled.
ALERT: This strategy or decision must not be influenced by the organization’s traditional mindset on data movement or migrations. Decisions should always be made with the future, the use of data, the value of data, and the simplicity of data processes in mind. This is not a standard ERP setup where data transfer may be done quickly and effectively over an extended period of time.
Before implementing SAP Central Finance, all of these factors must be taken into account. In terms of projects and the transformation process, Central Finance is a very different game, as I highlighted in my other blog, and it needs to be handled similarly. Data strategy is extremely important and should not be undervalued in the implementation of central finance since it begins with data, proceeds with data, and concludes with processes that are combined with data.
Note: All opinions and suggestions are based on the author’s personal experience.
Cheers to reading!