Continuously Assuring and Controlling Master Data Quality (Part One)

Continuously Assuring and Controlling Master Data Quality (Part One)

The Business Case for Continuous Data Quality Assurance

Continuous Data Quality Assurance for enterprise-critical data is indispensable for companies striving for sustained enterprise performance: Flawless business execution and trusted cross-company analyses depend on the quality of the underlying master data, and the challenge of continuously assuring premium master data quality as an ongoing activity is even higher when enterprises are operated on the basis of diversified system landscapes. Tackling this challenge is key to make the competitive edge.

The Situation Today

However today, it is still common that organizations have little, or no transparency at all into what the relevant data entities for a given business process are, nor do they have comprehensive capabilities to define and control required quality KPIs for these data entities. In such a setting, the negative impact of poor master data quality is only revealed when the damage is already done, i.e., through broken business transactions and shaky company analyses that produce wrong decisions. As long as organizations cannot statistically measure the quality of enterprise-critical data and their compliance with company terms, they are in a poor position when it comes to safeguarding and improving the overall performance.

The Way to Continuous Data Quality Assurance

To tackle the situation and accommodate this high-priority need, SAP features a comprehensive and sustained way to manage the data quality. Using this data quality approach, companies can:
  • Define the relevant metrics and set up the required quality rules that their critical enterprise master data need to comply
  • Subsequently monitor the compliance statistically and clearly visualize the prevailing data quality, and
  • Trigger follow-up actions if master data reveals quality issues.
These key activities are integrated into a collaborative end-to-end process that empowers data stewards and data administrators to exercise overall data control.
Using such an approach, companies can establish a closed quality loop around their enterprise master data management strategy.
Fig: SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and Xcelsius dashboards clearly visualize the prevailing data quality and trends. Defined quality dimensions can comprise (to name just a few):
  • Completeness (e.g., all mandatory fields contain data)
  • Conformity (e.g., all formats must match given patterns)
  • Validity (e.g., data must be in a valid range)

This data quality scorecard and remediation solution brings data, systems, and people together into one collaborative and coherent process flow. It combines SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management, SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and Xcelsius dashboards into a cohesive monitoring environment, and flexibly integrates with SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management to seamlessly trigger follow-up action if the data quality revealed forces to do so.  It is a perfect means to bring companies in good shape and keep them there on an ongoing basis.
Sounds interesting? Then stay tuned for part two of this blog series which will focus on architectural and implementation considerations of this scenario.


Benefit Now From Support Package 4 for SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1

Benefit Now From Support Package 4 for SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1

Enhancements for Governed Master Data Creation and Maintenance Processes in Conjunction with SAP NetWeaver BPM

When it comes to collaboratively governed master data creation and maintenance processes in heterogeneous landscapes, SAP NetWeaver BPM together with SAP NetWeaver MDM provide the perfect environment for setting up end-to-end data governance workflows that span across several systems.
By combining SAP NetWeaver BPM and SAP NetWeaver MDM in such contexts, companies can flexibly define data creation and maintenance processes where a new master data record (for example, a customer or a supplier record) can be requested, checked, approved and finally created in a coherent process flow that includes required automated and manual tasks and associated roles.
As of SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1 SP04, SAP NetWeaver BPM can directly consume specific MDM data governance UIs that can be used for human interactions (e.g. data steward enriching master data information) and specific MDM Web Services for fully automated steps (e.g. validation runs) in the overall workflow.
In this context, SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1 SP 04 provides the following enhancements:
  • Data Governance UIs based on WebDynpro technology: Using the MDM Web Dynpro Configurator which is a wizard-based tool that exposes MDM repository metadata you can configure MDM Web Dynpro Components without coding. Using this wizard, you can easily set up Web Dynpro UI components for Search, Result Set, and Item Details that can be directly consumed by BPM.
  • MDM Web Services: To further increase MDM openness and process automation there are additional Web Services available whose functional scope goes beyond basic CRUD operations. For example, there are new Web Services to run MDM validations, check-out records, launch MDM workflows and get and update key mapping information.

A Look at the Underlying Architecture

From an architectural perspective, such a scenario consists of different layers.
First, there is the process layer, in which a logical process is composed by defining an end-to-end workflow that involves automated steps and human interactions. The automated steps are based on WebService calls to the respective data foundation which consists of SAP NetWeaver MDM, SAP BusinessObjects Data Services, and any other WebService enabled backend-system. For human interactions, you have the user interface layer, for which you compose specific UIs based on WebDynpro technology that can be directly integrated with and consumed by SAP NetWeaver BPM.

Major data foundation components in this sample process are:
  • SAP NetWeaver MDM as the overarching master data instance that can be called in the process, for example, via specific UIs for human process activities (such as data enrichment by a data steward), or via Web Servces for automated process steps (e.g. specific validations)
  • SAP BusinessObjects Data Services as underlying data quality engine that can be called via WebService calls, for example, for address or name cleansing prior to the data creation.
Process steps such as data creation approvals can be accessed through the portal-based Universal Worklist (UWL).


For in-depth information about how to set up such an end-to-end process using SAP NetWeaver BPM and SAP NetWeaver MDM, SDN features a comprehensive eLearning material.
Check out the recorded deep-dive session that focuses on the new MDM Web Dynpro UI components and Web Services including their deployment, configuration and integration in the process modeling using SAP NetWeaver BPM.
For an overview of the end-to-end process and the business benefits of such a scenario, watch this animated demo.

For an up-to-date picture of the overall functional scope of SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1, see the overview presentation.


What’s New in NetWeaver SAP MDM 7.1 Publisher

Publications Bookmark

This new feature, released in MDM 7.1 sp04, enables publications management in a hierarchy bookmark structure.

Before this feature, the publications list was flat and un-sortable. With a large number of publications it was difficult to manage.

Now, in Publisher the publication tree drop down control will have a hierarchical structure (also seen in the File->Open dialog) with up to 3 root nodes: Personal Bookmarks, Global Bookmarks, All Publications.
Bookmarks can be organized via Main Menu 'File->Organize Publication Bookmarks'. A dialog is invoked
which allows the user to define hierarchy beneath the bookmark root nodes as well as dragging in
publications from the 'All Publications'. This dialog exposes right click menus as well as F2, Del, and drag
and drop functionality.

A new Console role function is introduced 'Functions->Publications->Modify Global Publication Bookmarks' to control write privileges to Global Publication Bookmarks (true by default). Please note that write privileges to 'Personal Bookmarks' are always allowed for an mdm user.


























































Image Links Palette Pane

This new feature, released in MDM 7.1 sp04, enables showing the properties of the family records referenced images.

Before this feature the image properties were not accessible from Publisher.

Select from Main Menu View->Panes->Image Links to view the Image links palette.











































































Publisher Command Line Options to Launch Directly to Target

This new feature, released in MDM 7.1 sp04, allows launching a Publication or Family Hierarchy directly from a desktop shortcut.

From main menu select File->Send To->Desktop (create shortcut). This command will create a shortcut on
the desktop and populate the command line parameters according to the current selection state that the
publisher is in when the menu is invoked. The shortcut will be named according to the publication and

If a user wants to open Publisher (which previously would load the Family Hierarchy as a starting point),
open a publication and then select a node and spread; there is now a direct action that saves time.






































































Add Records to a Family by Drag and Drop from Data Manger to Publisher

This new feature extents the ability to manage the records of a family.

Before this feature, adding a new record to a family was done by adding a new record associated with the same family and refreshing the presentation Hierarchy in Publisher.

Now, it is possible to drag and drop a record from Data Manager to Publisher and add it to a family, even if it is not associated with that family.

To do that, open Data Manager on Records pane and drag a record onto the Publisher Record Tab. The record dragged will be added to the familys records.














Drag and

















































Copy/Paste Overridden Node Properties

This new feature allows copying a nodes overridden (not inherited from the root) properties and applying (pasting) it to another node.

Before the feature it was only possible to either inherit node properties from parent or to propagate properties from parent node.

Now, it is possible to copy paste node properties between nodes even if they are not from the same branch. In the Presentation Hierarchy, Right click from a node and select "Copy overridden node properties". Select the destination node, right click and select "Paste overridden node properties". You may select which
properties to apply.
























































Free Form Styling of Texts on Spread

This new feature allows extended styling capabilities by applying text style from the spread.

Before this feature, it was possible to modify an items style from the Item Properties tab based on preset

Now, it is possible to change an items text style (and change only part of the texts style) from the spread
itself. The style can be set from the spread it self and does not need to be predefined as a style.
In the Spread Pane, double click on the text you wish to modify and apply the style in the Formatting dialog.


Note: A recalculation of the Presentation Objects will reset the styles.






































































Recordset Publication

This new feature enables creating a publication structure based of hierarchies linked to the main table records.

Before this feature it was possible to create either an Empty Publication or a Family Publication (based on the taxonomy table and further partitioning of it).

Now, creating a Recordset Publication allows the specification of any hierarchy field in the main table to base the structure to be created upon.

Also, any collection of masks can be used to prune down this structure to only the relevant nodes. The result is a pruned down hierarchy with leafs of record set publication nodes.

Select from Main Menu File-> New to create a new publication, select Recordset Publication from the dropdown publication type and select which Hierarchy to base the publication on from the Organize By dropdown list. Select Masks for pruning the publication, if needed.














































MDM Publishing API and MDM Publishing Demo Web Portal

With MDM 7.1 the MDM publishing solution has been extended with Publishing Java API (PJA) and Publishing Web Portal (PWP) set of code examples.

The interface provided through PJA is currently a subset of what can be done through the Publisher

Application. The detailed technical description of the interface is provided in the form of "javadoc in the SAP MDM installation package.

The Publishing API enables creating a custom interface of a "lean" publisher, generate and display publication through the web by an organization and external users.



Related Content

MDM Publisher Reference Guide

How to Create Publications with SAP NetWeaver MDM Using MDM Publisher


Best Practices for SAP NetWeaver MDM Taxonomy

For more information, visit the Master Data Management homepage.








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