Master data and ERP introduction

Master data and ERP implementation: The management of master data plays an increasingly important role in ERP implementations throughout the company. It is often the basis for being able to react to business requirements at all.

Master data and master data quality - Why is it so important?

Regulatory restrictions due to obligations within the scope of data protection requirements or the requirements of business processes, the associated transfer or passing on of master data information to further systems that must apply worldwide are important aspects that you must take into account. These 2 points alone show how important a solid, high quality of master data must be in order to be able to operate company-wide and globally.

The acquisition and qualification of master data must be backed by a stable process so that the basic prerequisite for smooth cooperation within the company - high master data quality - can be ensured.

An additional article will be published on the acquisition and qualification of master data in the context of an ERP implementation, which will make our experience in independent ERP consulting available to you as best practice.

Which data types are master data in the narrower and broader sense?

In business practice, the two terms master data and information are often mixed up. From our experience in ERP consulting, it is important that a strict distinction is made between data and information. Also the science describes a strict separation of the two concepts data and information (Tuomi 1999 "Data is more than knowledge").

Simply put, information is a contextual interpretation of data and is subjective perceptions. Data are objective facts and are to be described as such.

Information is the basis for business decisions and is therefore purpose-bound. It is also used in the context of business process management to achieve corporate or business goals.

Data description for an ERP master data management:

There are five key terms to describe data at the instance and type level:

Data object

Data element

Data object type

Data object attribute

Data object attribute type

What is group data? (Group data class)

Group data of a group data class are for example:

Customer data

Product data Employee data

Article data

Are all data objects, which are business objects e.g.:




Articles and business transactions e.g.

Account data changes



complaints etc. in the company. Thus, they are defined and specified by data object types.

This group master data, defined at a high level of aggregation, can be defined in turn into four categories on the basis of its properties and frequency of change, as well as its existential independence and its volume constancy:

Change data

Inventory data

Transaction data and

Master data

Master data and ERP systems

They are characterized by constant volumes and a low frequency of change. They represent business objects of a company and describe facts such as the size or weight or the color of an article. This also applies to employee data and their account details or IBAN numbers in customer management.

Transaction data in the ERP system

It is data that represents business processes and their operations based on master data. For example, an order uses the customer's master data as the movement date for further process flows such as staging the goods or shipping the order. From this example, it is clear that transaction data belonged more to the category of short-lived data than master data. Therefore, when designing an ERP implementation, it is important to calculate the future data volume for storage and archiving. This transaction data will grow permanently with each order.

Inventory data in the ERP system

It is the data that represents a quantity and value structure. This includes:

Stocks of materials,

finished goods,

auxiliary and operating materials,

semi-finished products, etc.

Change data in the ERP system

Since it can happen from time to time that master data changes, such as an employee's account number or a customer's address, change data must document the change.

Data quality management of master data and ERP implementations

The tasks of data quality management in the context of an ERP implementation include the definition of organizational responsibility and the provision of data in the correct and required quality for the respective user. Here, too, it is important in the context of ERP consulting that a process description and a user role concept are created.

Case Study: Collection Data Optimization at HAGOS EG

The master data of Hagos was stored in different systems, partly redundantly, and the current maintenance processes were time-consuming. New master data as well as changes/updates to existing article or customer master data were passed on to the next processor in lists via mail attachment...