A Comprehensive Look At The Different Tasks Of Managing Data Under Sap Erp Systems
Data refers to values of qualitative or quantitative variables. Simply put, data is information lacking in meaning. Data processing functions are aimed at appending meaning to data. In this day and age, data is a vital asset that most organizations overlook. Organizations churn data sets on a day to day basis. Data sets can be broadly classified into transactional and master data sets. Transactional data sets refer to the collection of data used and generated in business transactions. Master data sets in an enterprise system refer to data that is used by all the different modules of the system. Let us take a peek at the different tasks of managing data.
Tasks of Managing Data
Data, just like any other resource controlled by an organization needs to be properly managed. In the twenty first century, the task of managing data is not a walk in the park owing to the prevalence of extraordinarily large and complex data sets that are even beyond the scope of traditional database management tools. The tasks that relate to data management include data migration, data maintenance data integration and data creation. All these tasks are executed when a business is transitioning from the traditional legacy systems to the SAP ERP systems.
Data Migration in the Context of SAP ERP
Data migration in the context of SAP ERP entails loading data from the traditional legacy systems of an organization to the SAP data center with an aim of availing this data to the different SAP ERP modules. This is usually done at the Realization phase under the ASAP implementation methodology. Data migration can be automated or manual.
The Manual Data Load Process and SAP ERP
Not all data migration qualifies for an automated data load process. The manual data load process when migrating from the traditional legacy system to the SAP ERP system is necessary under certain circumstances. These circumstances include; when the data is of a complex nature, when data requires specialized handling not accorded by the automated data load process, when the data volume is trivial or when the effort and time used for the manual data load process is largely insignificant. The manual loads are done by manual data loaders of SAP ERP.
The Automated Data Load Process and SAP ERP
The automated data load process is indispensable when the volumes of data to be migrated from the traditional legacy systems to SAP ERP are magnanimous. In such situations, the automated data load process is not optional unless organizations are willing to expend a lot of energy and spend a lot of time converting data from the traditional legacy systems to the SAP ERP systems. Data load programs developed in ABAP programming language can be used in the automated data load process. Third party tools supported by SAP AG can also be used in the automated data load process.
The types of Data used in the Automated and Manual Data Load Processes
There are two types data used in both the automated and manual data load processes. These types of data are the SAP ERP master data and the transactional data which I mentioned in the first paragraph. The SAP ERP master data can be considered the main type of data since it does not change very often and it affects all the transactions conducted in the SAP ERP environment. Transactional data on the other hand can never be changed at all but can only be reversed or cancelled but cannot be changed. Transactional data depends on SAP ERP master data and can therefore be considered the secondary type of data during SAP ERP data migration.
Data Maintenance in the Context of SAP ERP
Data maintenance is the second type of data management task executed in the context of SAP ERP. Data maintenance is an important function as the SAP ERP master data affects all the transactions and modules in the SAP environment. Data maintenance in the context of SAP ERP entails making mass changes to the SAP ERP master data such as payroll changes, making column statistics updates, defragmenting data and conducting data backups. Data maintenance should be done in the SAP ERP context lest the dire consequences of having inaccurate data hit the organization. Data maintenance is therefore important as it ensures that data is up to date, increases the ease of data access and improves overall decision making in the organization.
Data Integration in the Context of SAP ERP
Data integration in the context of SAP ERP entails merging data from third party vendors with the SAP ERP master data. Data integration in the context of SAP ERP allows for posting of incoming payments, keying in invoices and executing periodic price updates. Data integration is an important aspect of enterprise resource planning software solutions as it avails external information to an organization seamlessly. The traditional systems on the other hand were closed as they were not integrated with third party systems. Data integration in the context of SAP ERP provides organization with the capabilities of integrating, replicating and migrating data from various data sources.
There are quite a number of advantages of data integration in the context of SAP ERP. These advantages include reduction in the time spent by end users to access data and assess its quality, management of the increasing volumes and varieties of data in today’s dynamic business environment, minimization of organizational silos in place for enterprise wide collaboration and freeing of time of IT staff members who can have more time for innovation.
Mass Data Creation in the Context of SAP ERP
Mass data creation in the context of SAP ERP entails creating new SAP ERP master data or transactional data. New SAP ERP master data include new materials, new vendors or new customers. New transactional data that can be created on the other hand include journal vouchers and supplier invoices. SAP ERP users can create SAP ERP master data and transactional data using familiar programs such as Microsoft Excel and or Adobe.