What are the main bottlenecks in unlocking the value of data for a multinational organisation? 

Process ownership and governance are key to gain value from (central) data management. With governance I mean that the various business processes need to be well documented, including the related master data requirements. Updates to these process descriptions and data requirements, need to be an integral part of change processes within the organization. Multinationals, with constant internal and external forces changing the business model and systems landscape, struggle to find the best level of governance and ownership.

Either the process owners are too detached from the actual business and data, to add guidance and value, or the ownership is too local, where people and roles move too often and the company as a whole doesn’t benefit due to restricted scope.  

It's clear that without up to date requirements, the value of data cannot be judged. Data is only good or bad, if we all agree and document what good should look like.

How do you see the data quality challenge being resolved with limited resources?

My team manages this via so called business rules. Out of the existing process and data documentation, we derive all sort of business rules which we apply on the data we manage. These business rules are both embedded in the Master Data Maintenance tools (like SAP MDG) and the Data Quality Monitoring tools (like BO-IS) and is fully automated. This means that only correct new data enters our systems and the existing data set is constantly monitored. 

Based on the quality reports, we can initiate data cleansing activities without all sort of business approvals, since process/data owners already approved the documentation.

The combination of tooling (automation) and business rules results in high data quality with limited resources. 

What recommendations do you have for embedded data quality and reporting?

All the business rules with actual quality scores and trends are available via a web application. We group the rules by data objects for more specific focus. Again, we can only measure what we know, but we noticed that giving more colleagues access, new (undocumented) business rules are proposed to us from all parts of the organization. So I have dedicated roles in my team to improve, update, and expend the rules set and make sure the maintenance and quality tools keep up to date. 

Could you elaborate on the best practices for Master Data Maintenance via MDG on Akzo Nobel?

We have implemented SAP MDG for the maintenance of Vendors, Products, and Customers within AkzoNobel. The most important aspect is that we support only End-to-End processes with MDG. Each data object is only ready for use when all related tasks are completed and confirmed by the responsible departments. With the introduction of SAP MDG we bring back ownership and responsibility to the functions. Each task in the workflow must be completed before we can sell or buy products. Everybody understands again why their task is important and where it fits in the total process because MDG can visualize this. The lead times of product introductions are monitored per task via MDG reports, which can indicate bottlenecks in the organization to management.

Second, we focus on single data entry by the data owners in the source systems. Via this concept, we eliminate duplicate data entry and reduce the resources in the Central Master Data team. Our role and efforts are even more restricting to Quality monitoring  and exception handling, bringing down the maintenance costs per object. 

What would you like to achieve by attending the 18th Edition Master Data and Data Quality conference?

After attending the 15th edition of this conference in Amsterdam it’s time again to share and absorb the experiences between my peers in the various companies and the experts in consultancy. I expect a majority increase on the overall level of master data maintenance, data quality monitoring and reporting compared to the previous conference. If I can bring back ideas which I can use to bring our tools and processes to a higher level again, the conference is a success for me. 

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Ahead of the 18th Edition Master Data and Data Quality, we spoke with Robert J. Hofsté, Global Master Data Manager at Akzo Nobel N.V., about the main bottlenecks in unlocking the value of data for a multinational organisation and the best practices for Master Data Maintenance via MDG on Akzo Nobel.

Practical Insights From:
Akzo Nobel N.V.
BSH Bosch Hausgeräte
CAMELOT Management Consultants
Coca-Cola Hellenic BSO
Deutsche Post DHL Group
Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Robert Bosch GmbH
Teva Pharma
zetVisions AG


About the Conference:

This marcus evans event will focus on tackling challenges on the journey towards business critical master data, improving business process efficiency and reducing waste from poor data quality. For over 7 years this event has been a great platform for MDM leaders from multinational companies to benchmark and exchange excellent ideas. The 18th Edition Master Data and Data Quality will take place from the 15th until the 17th of November 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Copyright © 2017 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Previous Attendees Include: 

Adidas AG
British American Tobacco
Deutsche Telekom
Maersk A/S
Orion Corporation
Red Bull

About the speaker:

Robert J. Hofsté is an IT/Data manager with over 20 years of experience in IT and business functions. Since 1998 working as an SAP functional expert on multiple full life cycle SAP projects in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United States for different consultancy companies. Continued the career as employee of Heineken International as Senior Functional Consultant. Supported worldwide Operating Companies during the rollout of a SAP Single Client environment. During the rollout projects responsible for safeguarding the process and system Governance, monitoring quality and progress of (external) implementation partners. Joined AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings for (re)building the internal IT department and ERP landscape. As member of the IT management team, responsible for the global ERP platform with 4 direct reports. After migrating the scattered ERP landscape into a Single System environment, a new global Master Data Management organization was build and managed in the role as Business Unit Master Data Manager. Currently responsible as Global Master Data Manager for one of the 3 Business Areas of AkzoNobel, managing a global team of 25 FTE’s, supporting daily data maintenance, guarding and improving data quality and deploying the related maintenance and quality tools across the Strategic Market Units of Performance Coatings.

The best practices for Master Data Maintenance via MDG on Akzo Nobel 


An interview with Robert J. Hofsté, Global Master Data Manager at Akzo Nobel N.V.

Robert J. Hofsté, Global Master Data Manager at Akzo Nobel N.V.

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