Making the Case for Data Relationship Management (DRM)
Achieving Agility through Alignment
Enterprises that have complex reporting requirements and financial information spanning multipledisparate systems are often engaged in a difficult and expensive struggle between the need forflexibility to support specialized reporting requirements and the need for financial consistency.Different local or departmental views of financial reference data such as balance sheet structures,entity structures, cost centers and cost center rollups are often misaligned, introducing financialcompliance risks and leading to inconsistent financial measures, effort-intensive closing processes,and huge amounts of time spent researching and reconciling disparities. Often the only indicators of this situation are a lack of agreement in financial measures across systems and departments and anonerous financial close process.Some organizations attempt to solve this challenge by enforcing strict, enterprise-wide standards forfinancial reference data. This “one size fits all” approach removes complexity, but also removes theability to understand performance within specific departments and business units. A strict andcomprehensive standards approach also fails to support different local or regional legal reporting requirements. For large or complex enterprises, a single, uniform reporting standard is not feasible.Most organizations recognize the need for departmental views and local legal reporting requirementsand therefore attempt to support high-level standards while allowing local customization of financialreference data. Conceptually, this approach can support both the needs of financial consistency as well as the need for departmental and business-unit level flexibility. However, this approach resultsin multiple interdependent instances of financial reference data within each department or businessunit, greatly increasing complexity. Changes to financial reference data, such as adding a new account, reclassifying a set of asset accounts, or moving a set of cost centers to a new business unit,have to be replicated across each instance of the financial reference data. For most companies, thisprocess is highly manual and poorly controlled. Individual business units each attempt to recreatethe proper changes within their own instance of the financial reference data. Ultimately, changes arenot made with consistency across all instances, resulting in reporting disparities that must be resolvedthrough costly research and reconciliation.Oracle Data Relationship Management (DRM) provides a change management platform builtspecifically to support complex financial reference data. With DRM’s robust security and richhierarchy management features, organizations can easily enforce high-level standards and controls, while seamlessly supporting departmental and business unit flexibility. The solution also providesconfigurable validations, comprehensive audit logs, change history, rich comparison and analysiscapabilities, and the ability to model future “what if” scenarios. With DRM, organizations canachieve both agility and financial reliability through alignment.