Mastering SAP ETL Data Migration to transform your business

SAP Data Migration simplifies the data migration process and helps ensure data accuracy and completeness when moving data into the SAP system.

As companies continue to advance their digital transformation objectives, data management in SAP becomes ever more important. SAP creates vast quantities of data that inform decision-making and operational efficiency. However, data analytics and operational efficiency normally require data to be migrated to and from other enterprise tools and systems. At the simplest level, data migration within the SAP landscape involves the same steps (albeit SAP specific) as any other data migration - ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) processes.

Organizational pressures including business strategy, technological evolution, governance, and compliance are all driving SAP data migrations.

  • You might be migrating data as you move from an old SAP system or other legacy system(s) to the new SAP S4/Hana. We will continue to see clients decommissioning their older SAP ECC systems as they migrate to S/4 Hana.
  • You may be migrating data to SAP MDG (Master Data Governance) so that data can be governed and maintained as a single ‘golden’ record.
  • Or your data migration may be driven by the need for enhanced data governance by locating all your data in a single system (e.g., SAP MDG).

The need for adopting best practices in SAP ETL for data migration underpins successful migration processes. The following are recommended best practices and the importance of each:

Understand your data:

 Ensure you have a team in place that understands the current data landscape – specifically concerning where data is maintained, your data types and associated criticalities, as well as knowledge of topics such as data glossary maintenance. The team will need to be able to provide deep-dive details about data sources and objects. This knowledge will inform the scope, data mapping rules, and key attributes for your ETL activities.

Clear Data Mapping Documentation:

 Business stakeholders must have a clear understanding of all transformation rules for the key objects/attributes that are being migrated. IT SMEs can support and guide the business by providing these details so that informed decisions can be made about which data should be included and how that data should be migrated.

Finding the correct tool to enable you to document rules and transformation details is essential – this information must be continually maintainable, accessible, and legible to business users, and capable of supporting reviews and sign-offs.

Testing and Validation:

 Testing is typically the most time-consuming aspect of any data migration. It should never be underestimated! Whereas a certain level of confidence about the data, transformation rules and scope will allow for testing to be planned accurately, it is not possible to avoid extensive testing for rules validation, effective and error-free data loading (configuration, cleansing, successful transformation, etc.) and validation that SAP data is correctly supporting your business activities.

It is recommended that Testing should be carried out in ‘mock’ cycles to increase data accuracy and volumes loaded incrementally with each successive cycle. Generally, 3-4 mock load cycles should be sufficient. BI tools, as well as integration with SAP tools - e.g., Data Services, should be leveraged to optimize test validation capabilities.

Data Governance

 It is important to drive data governance in parallel with data migration to ensure that all systems are kept aligned for ongoing data maintenance purposes. Data governance in the SAP landscape is frequently handled by SAP MDG (Master Data Governance). Processes and data governance rules must be updated to manage and govern data post-migration.

Key aspects of good data governance are data stewardship roles to continually monitor changes to data, data governance policies as well and frequent monitoring of data quality reports across all systems.

Key takeaways:

 Best practice will support the mitigation of risks associated with managing dispersed data – a single golden record overcomes the complexity of maintaining data in different places with different people. Creation of this golden record will eliminate inconsistencies, and errors and help identify data that is no longer up to date.

Data integration is greatly simplified when all data is maintained centrally - and can be integrated with other systems, as needed. SAP MDG is a great for this - maintaining master data centrally and allowing easy integration to other SAP and non-SAP systems using IDocs.

SAP ETL supports good data governance which leads to cost savings, speeds up new product introduction as well and supports other KPIs – e.g. OTIF in for manufacturing.

SAP will end-of-life support for the ECC systems in the coming years and the move to S/4 Hana is necessary for ECC customers. SAP ETL plays an essential role for organizations when ECC is being decommissioned.

If you would like to discuss more, please get in touch today. At Sogeti, we assist numerous customers on their SAP ETL Data Migration journey, by crafting the business case and defining the strategy for realizing business value.

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  • Rob McWhinney
    Rob McWhinney
    Senior Manager | SAP | Data Governance | ETL | MDG | MDM