Importance of data readiness in ERP initiatives
Digital transformations are everywhere. I was just reading CIO Magazine’s 2017 State of the CIO. CIOs report that they are spending more time on transformational and strategic activities and are spending more time with the CEO, business leaders, and Board of Directors.
An often overlooked and probably less glamorous area in digital transformation is data readiness. For the new system to be effective, valid and complete data have to either reside in the new system or be accessible to the new system. While many tools are available to assist data mapping, extraction and conversion, it still requires careful coordination across different groups, validation (manual and automated) by running various reports, ensure data completeness and then finally successfully loading the data in the target system.
As NLB Services assists our clients in complex ERP initiatives, we continue to see the need to make data readiness and data conversion a priority for successful implementation. While automating as much of the process as possible is ideal, it is not uncommon to have significant work on understanding and processing spreadsheets, loading them in staging databases, running reports and performing data validation. Adding new data to the existing dataset may be required and the new data collection may sometimes require manual effort as well. We recommend that “data” be an important part of the digital transformation project plan, organization and governance structure.