Optimize master data management

In the past, many organizations have developed custom solutions with the aim of optimizing processes on SAP master data management. Quite often, client-specific workflow solutions were developed for the approval processes for submitting, enriching and approving master data requests. In the meantime, SAP has developed a fully-fledged standard alternative: SAP Master Data Governance (MDG). This blog discusses the functionality of SAP MDG.

What is SAP Master Data Governance?

SAP Master Data Governance is an advanced, out-of-the-box solution for master data management with domain-specific master data management for centrally maintaining, changing and distributing of master data. It offers the possibility to consolidate all master data in the entire IT landscape. Hereby various technologies present in the SAP NetWeaver platform are used, such as Workflow, Fiori, BRFPlus etc.

SAP MDG ensures data integrity in both SAP and non-SAP systems, which optimizes business processes. This will lead to higher productivity, process consistency and saves time and money.

Important aspects within SAP MDG are:

  1. Governance - Enables governance, compliance and transparency of master data during creation and change requests via integrated staging, approval and central audit logging.

  2. Consistency - Provides consistent definition, authorization and replication of master data. Eliminates error-prone manual maintenance processes for master data in multiple systems.

  3. Consolidation - consolidate master data from your business systems, create the best records and key mapping between duplicates and consolidate with central management for high quality master data.

  4. Integration - Offers integration into SAP solutions, including re-use of data modeling, business logic and configuration for validation, while providing openness to integrate third-party services.

  5. Flexibility - Standard models can be expanded to create governance for your own master data from your SAP and non-SAP environments.

  6. Data quality - measure process quality using SAP Smart Business and integrate with SAP Data Services & Information Steward quality, enrichment and recovery options.

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SAP Master Data Governance basically consists of two sub-solutions: a consolidation and a central management solution.

The image below describes a simplified process flow of governance functionality.

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The advantages of SAP MDG

  1. SAP Master Data Governance out-of-the-box applications;

  2. One familiar, "single version of the truth" of all system master data;

  3. Approval workflows for all your master data creation and change requests;

  4. Central creation and maintenance of master data on all SAP and non-SAP systems;

  5. Compliance on rules for master data management;

  6. Creation of audit trails when creating and changing master data;

  7. Improvement of data quality;

  8. Reduce costs.

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MDG User interfaces

SAP MDG uses role-specific user interfaces to simplify access to your master data. Customized user interfaces support the efficiency of your users:

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  • Each expert can use a special, role-specific user interface that best suits their role;

  • Role-specific user interfaces can be configured within SAP MDG. No programming is required for this.

SAP Fiori can be used for mobile use:

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  • Simplify your master data management and involve all relevant persons to participate directly in master data application processes;

  • Create efficient scenarios to request new master data, approve changes to master data, or monitor KPIs and trends;

  • Accelerate your data provisioning and decision making by involving people everywhere and at all times.

SAP MDG architecture

Below you will find an overview of the SAP MDG architecture:

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There are several SAP MDG deployment options. The most used are a central hub or co-deployment:

  • SAP MDG as a stand-alone system: one special master data hub;

  • SAP MDG as an add-on to an existing operational SAP ERP system.

The most important SAP technologies used within SAP MDG are:

The role of MDG in the context of SAP S/4HANA

The roadmap of SAP MDG is fully integrated and tailored to the S/4HANA roadmap. The role of an SAP MDG hub in a system landscape does not change:

  • Distribution of master data to all systems in the landscape: non-SAP systems, SAP Business Suite systems or SAP S/4HANA systems, ...;

  • Implementation on premise or private cloud support;

  • Most companies use an SAP MDG system as a hub. Co-deployment with an existing SAP system is also supported.

An SAP S/4HANA migration is a perfect opportunity to validate your data quality:

  • Optimal business processes and accurate analyzes depend on high quality of your master data;

  • Supports your transition to SAP S/4HANA with master data consolidation in SAP MDG;

  • Supported after commissioning to guarantee the quality of your master data in the longer term.

For questions or additional information on this subject you can contact Wouter Van Peteghem.

Thanks to Sander van der Wijngaart for writing this article.