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It is a core business principle that to run a successful company, assets must be managed effectively. However, there isan often overlooked asset that, if correctly harnessed, is a turning point in competitive advantage, particularly withthe increasing sophistication of enterprise wide business management systems such as SAP ERP. This asset is the coredata produced in abundance by every company in the world. Corporate data sets include transactional data and masterdata.
Managing large amounts of data can be a signicant challenge to most organizations. Some of the common data
management tasks include:Data migration, e.g., loading legacy systems data into SAP applications during initial SAP implementation or M&A
activityData maintenance, e.g., mass changes to SAP data for price changes and payroll changes
Data integration, e.g., loading vendor invoices or bank statements into SAP applications
Mass data creation, e.g., creating new master data (materials, vendors, customers, etc.), or transactional data
(journal vouchers, invoices, etc) in SAP systemsA common theme among these data management applications is data loading – loading of data into SAP systems from
external les such as spreadsheets or other databases. The limited resources in IT and in the lines of business struggle
to complete these data-related tasks in a timely and accurate manner. However, if the best practices described in thiswhite paper are followed in each stage of a data loading process, these challenges can be overcome.
Planning the data load project1.Developing templates and preparing the data2.Running the data load process3.Post data load activities4.
Planning the Data Load Project1.
Every data loading project should have a plan that includes quality and user acceptance as the top priorities.Preparation is key to the success of any operation, and data loading is no exception. Items to be considered whenplanning a data loading project:
Selecting the right tool for the job
For small projects affecting fewer than 50 transactions, manual data entry may be the best choice. However,when uploading large amounts of data, such as employee records, pricing conditions, material masters,purchase orders, or customer invoices, manually keying in the data is resource-intensive, time-consuming, andstressful for data entry personnel and IT support teams. In addition, the manual entry of data increases the riskof errors, thereby increasing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of SAP solutions.
- Custom programming
One alternative to the manual entry of data into an SAP system is to write custom ABAP™ programs. Manycompanies have developed custom programs for very large data loading tasks that will remain static. Theseprograms can streamline the repetitive entry of hundreds of thousands to millions of records. However,creating robust programs involves multiple iterations of requirements gathering, programming, testing,
documentation, transporting, and renement, and these programs may be used only once or twice a year,
making the effort particularly costly in terms of man hours and ROI. Using a program that was hastily puttogether or one that has not been well-tested can damage or destroy data.
Fig. 2 - Stages of a data loading projectFig. 1 - Data loading use cases
MAINTENANCE DATA INTEGRATION DATA CREATION
POST DATA LOAD