Continuing great job on the discussions. Keep up the good work. You raised most of the important points but let me summarize my view.
Q1: How to assure master data integration works well for all? This is hard with ERP systems because master data is used so extensively across so many transactions, processes, etc. Company needs to have a good plan, lots of well defined processes and controls. It’s important that there is a broad understanding of master data and appreciation for good data. This comes only with good training and strong management focus.
Q2: Who should play the key role in defining and assuring quality of master data? All processes who use the data, not just the main users need a say in what the master data is (definitions, processes, etc.). Because of the high degree of integration across business processes in ERP systems those in charge of master data need integration/ broad perspectives. Accounting / finance is one critical voice but in my experience not the best to be in charge. A strong financial focus can be just as bad as another groups focus (e.g. sales, supply chain, etc.)
My experience is there needs to be a defined master data coordinator (data steward is term many of you used – great term). Great, cooperative master data coordinators and new Master Data Management (MDM) software are becoming a must for strong ERP system users.
Q3: What is riskier: inaccurate data or excessively repetitive data? Both are bad. You all gave some great examples. I agree that inaccurate data causing problems is more common than repetitive, but be aware of both.
Q4: Which transaction is most ‘Sensitive’? Many, many transactions are sensitive – no correct answer. The rule of thumb I used is that any transaction that creates master data or creates or can lead to creation of a financial transaction is sensitive. Note that many systems and configuration transactions are sensitive and need to be locked down in production.
A good ERP systems runs on good master data.
This coming week we will look change management and development aspects of ERP systems.