As any experienced person would say one of the most integral factors in successful ERP implementation is data cleansing. The funny thing is that this also happens to be one of the most often-underestimated tasks as far as ERP implementation is concerned. This is especially applicable with regards to factors such as complexity as well as scope. What does this tell you about data cleansing with regards to EPR implementation – it is one of the most important components, yet it is also highly simple as well. There are several reasons as to why this process is so important and there are some tips, which if followed, will guarantee success.
The main reason behind the importance of data cleansing in the context of ERP is the fact that it is used in every part of ERP implementation. If the ERP implementation is successful in the stage of testing then it is well nigh guaranteed to succeed finally as well. The only issues in the testing execution stage are accuracy and completeness of master data. These factors also come in handy during the training stage, which needs to be successful as well if you want to implement ERP successfully. If business data is properly synchronized at the go-live stage then it means that ERP will be implemented successfully.
Data cleansing is important in this stage as well because without accurate and complete master data, business data cannot be synchronized at the stage being talked about. Thus, one thing should be clear by now – for ERP to be implemented well at every stage, it is important to have master data, which is accurate and complete as well. There are also several reasons for underestimating data cleansing. If one can avoid falling into this trap, it can make for an improved ERP implementation.
Master data is normally distributed among various systems that are part of a legacy system. People do not really understand how much master data may be there in their disposal. At times, parts of data cleansing can become processes that keep on iterating. This can be a bit of Catch-22 situation. You will definitely not be able to test if you do not have the master data with you. The reason why you are testing is that you wish to evaluate the master data that you have. When we judge the situation in the context of the second situation it becomes a bit hard to measure how much progress you may have achieved with your data cleansing in an objective manner.
In such situations you might find that the data, which you thought had been cleansed and, thus, complete is not responding well to tests. Now, all of a sudden it is uncleansed data. However, there are a few steps that you need to take in order to avoid these situations and make your data cleansing process successful. You should start by making progress in any and every area where it is possible to do so. For example, you can fix the different variations of your address.
You can also look at areas such as mismatches in zip code and city. Always arrange meetings where you review the data cleansing that you perform on a routine basis. In these meetings, find out the areas where there are problems and ones where bottlenecks have been created. Your completion plan should also be as aggressive as possible. There is every possibility that you may not achieve the same. At least, put some time in that and find out why you may not be achieving the same. Always get the appropriate people to do your job. They should be hardworking, smart and attentive to detail. It is important to get the right match of skills and job profile.
The lessons that you learn and the processes for data cleansing that you create thereby will always be important parts of your company’s operations. This is where it is different from other processes related to ERP implementation. Master data, which is accurate and complete, is very important for a company – you would realize it the most after a couple of years.
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