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Best practices for Master Data Load - Part 1

Many organizations face multiple challenges during ERP implementation due to various reasons; few of them are absence of key data, presence of duplicate data, load errors, incorrect data, etc. This actually leads to incorrect transactions, inconsistent reports, regulatory compliance issues and lack of customer satisfaction.

So, data plays a very significant role for Go-Live & organizations use data templates & tools to load bulk data into the system. Praveen has rightly said that "EAMs are data eaters & master data management is a a critical aspect in EAM implementations" in his blog "Why my EAM implementation is not giving me as I expected?"

There are various checks & balances which you need to do to get this right first time. The below mentioned are the best practices for a master data load based on my own implementation experiences. I have categorized the best practices into various categories as mentioned below

Preparation for Master Data Load

  • Prepare a list of data you need for Go Live
  • Create a sequential order to load those data
  • Identify the data which you need to create manually and the data which you need to load using load tools or other uploading methods.
  • Categorize the master data into Organization specific data, user data, finance data, Meta data etc
  • For each category, identify an owner to extract the data from various sources.

Validating source data before transferring into data templates

  • Validate the source data, correct errors, correct duplicates, etc before you transfer the data into new data capture templates.

Preparation of Data capture template

  • Prepare a data capture template to match the ERP application
  • Prepare a data capture template per application or per master data like Item Template, Vendors Template etc
  • Define basic validation rules (below mentioned) in the template to minimize the errors in data before loading
      • Mandatory fields should not be left blank
      • Key information should not be left blank
      • Duplicate data should not exist
      • Spelling should be corrected in detailed descriptions or terms & conditions
      • Junk values should be avoided by having drop down lists in the fields
  • Setup a checklist and instructions for filling the data so that the person who fills the data can do a self check & correct errors if any. Also mention some of the important business rules as part of this checklist so that the person can validate those checks also & correct errors if any.

Please add if you have come across any best practice related to master data load in your earlier implementations. In my next blog, I would like to continue the same category "Preparation of Data capture template" in a bit more detailed manner and also discuss about "Pre Load data validation".



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