Successful Start to the Year Managing SAP Data
5 Strategies & Tips
Ready to make 2020 the year you save time managing data in SAP?
If you are currently seeking ways to improve data management you’re not alone. A recent study estimated that data challenges costs the average company over $2M a year. It’s a problem that keeps growing in both size and impact on business performance.
At Innowera, we’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of world-class organizations focus on this problem and we want to share a few best practices and tips that might help your business in the year ahead.
Form a team to focus on data quality
Data Quality is a unifying problem that most organizations encounter and recognize as critical. One good reason to rally a focused team around data management, is often problems are quantifiable enough to obtain project funding from departmental and executive sponsors. With additional resources, the focus on data improvement traditionally demonstrates cost savings quickly, in turn, setting up the team to uncover and address other ongoing and emerging data quality challenges
A 2019 study by Experian uncovered that 95% of organizations see impacts across their organization from poor data quality. Whether it’s improving the customer experience or cost savings, improving bad data can move the needle in your business. If you are looking to make progress this year a great step would be to develop and deploy actionable data quality strategies.
We find a very large majority of organizations uncover the need to maintain a high level of operational data quality – data managers know the data intimately and can make decisions to improve it. And often SAP users just need tools to make the effort simpler.
That’s where Innowera can help. To learn more about our flagship product, Innowera Process Runner see our product page and optional free trial at the bottom of the page.
Standardize using tools for data management
There are a number of tools out there to help you manage your SAP data. Process Runner can help you with a wide variety of business integrations, migrations, as well as daily maintenance, mass updates and creation of data, moving data in and out of SAP to third party databases, keeping master data consistent, and many other use cases. Investing in easy to use, automated tools gives you power at a user level to get quality work done efficiently.
Standardize heavy manual data processes and automate them as a continuous process improvement initiative
Sounds like something every company is or should be doing. But what we’re talking about here is making data management an ongoing continuous improvement initiative. Find the business processes that clearly takes a lot of manpower to manage, and has significant built-in complexity and decide to create a better process, improve data quality, and ultimately automate wherever possible with tools. Our customers often find they can save 60-90% of the time they have traditionally spent on these processes. It always starts with a focus on standardizing and automating processes and builds from there.
Recently, a customer told us a story about how that they moved to a more standardized data and process environment to operate faster, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively. At the core of their strategy was integrating Innowera Process Runner with its SAP landscape as part of that continuous improvement initiative. The outcome has decreased processing effort by over 80%, saving upward of 20,000 hours annually. They also said that they achieved immediate views into process issues for faster resolution, reduced risk of process errors, and improved data accuracy.
We hear these stories frequently. By focusing on the right business processes and making continuous process improvements the objectives set by these teams succeed time and time again.
Access Metadata for Improved Operations
At Magnitude Software, we view metadata as the secret sauce that delivers differentiated value to our customers. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the time spent by businesses on data management is on preparing data for use. We are focused on taking a business-content-centric approach that completely reverses that equation to bring significant value to our customers out of the box.
In addition to Innowera, our Magnitude Software family has developed a set of products and tools that deliver deeper business insights and more effective raw data management. In fact, we have pre-packaged thousands of metadata objects and the tools to bring data to life and deliver insightful intelligence.
One of Innowera’s unique metadata access tools is Process Runner DB. With this innovative tool you can connect your SAP platform to other third-party databases. This makes it easier for your organization to extract more value from the customizations and configurations that you’ve developed within your business applications and ensure that data is personalized for your use, appropriately secure and limited.
In the end, whatever tools you currently use or plan to use, it is critical to quickly extract the maximum value from your strategic investments in core business applications, such as SAP. At the end of the day, the metadata is essential for making this information turnkey.
Display Technical Names in SAP for Easier Process Recognition
Finally, we’ll wrap this up with a practical tip that you can do in a few minutes today. The Menu Path in SAP is used to navigate to specific SAP transactions. By default, SAP displays the text name for transactions but not their associated transaction codes.
To display the transaction codes, just go to the SAP Easy Access screen, on the Menu Bar, click Extras. From the drop-down menu, select Settings. There on the Settings pop-up box, select the Display technical names checkbox. Click that box, and the Enter button. Then, the transaction codes will display before the transaction names.
This will give you instant recognition of transactions and how to automate them. If you use Innowera Process Runner you can easily look up to see if we have ready to go automation scripts available with that SAP transaction. Or if you are wanting to create an automation script you can quickly select it in our Innowera Process Designer. Then you’ll be up and running a new automation process in minutes.
Whether your organization makes large steps or small ones our hope is 2020 is the year that you find a new level of success in automating your SAP data.
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