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What is data governance? Meet the plumbing...

I often think of the data that flows underneath systems like SAP as water. It’s just there, running and refreshing itself quietly through the pipes, in and out, often with minimal intervention or monitoring. Invisible. Until something goes wrong and your analytics systems tells you something nonsensical like every person in a county in England consumed 41 lbs of cheese over the weekend (true story). It is the equivalent of your sewer system backing up all over the bathroom floor, and next thing you know a backhoe has excavated half of your front yard in order to fix it. That’s when you realize just how important—and technical—it really is. And wish you had done the simple things needed to get it clean and keep it clean. Both data governance and plumbing require specialist knowledge to help you fix things before they get worse and you experience long-term consequences.

Why clean data is critical to the success of your data governance strategy

Prospecta’s goal is to help companies have better data.

Think of something as simple as someone’s name and address. A contact’s name or address may have two similar spellings, like Garry and Gary, or Hawthorne Street and Hawthorn Street. Chances are, they’re the same people and the same address. Computers have a hard time spotting these discrepancies.

It’s not always easy to notice and fix these errors whether you’re inputting trying to catch it manually. But it’s important to keep data clean, which is where something like master data or data governance comes in. It can check and correct all types of master data, from customer data, vendor information, materials, assets, HR, retail, and dozens of others.

Prospecta figures out what’s wrong with your data, makes it better, and keeps it clean so you don’t have to.

Introducing our unique perspective on data cleaning for your business

We were founded 20 years ago, in Sydney, Australia. This gave us a specific view of certain types of data that other companies don’t have as much experience with.

Because of our location, many of our early customers were mining companies. That meant we had to get really good at understanding important data for heavy-asset industries like oil and gas, chemicals, metals and mining, utilities, and manufacturing.

When our customers work with Prospecta to better understand their data, they/we typically find that around 40% of their data is missing, wrong, inaccurate, or non-standard.

MDO is our cloud/SaaS platform that helps companies understand what’s wrong with their data, improve it, and keep it clean going forward.

Most of our customers are dealing with things like spare parts, raw materials, and equipment. They need to keep track of any equipment they run and if/when it needs maintenance. Monitoring all of this leads to cost savings, time savings, and prevents problems before they come up.

Using MDO saves businesses 5-10% on spare parts costs.

Why being an SAP endorsed app matters so much

SAP have huge amounts of data and monitoring all of that without using AI and machine learning is challenging.

Prospecta became an SAP Endorsed App in Q1 of 2021. This collaboration means customers get the best of both worlds. Out of over 15,000 partners, only ~ 30 are invited to be part of the Endorsed App program. It’s the highest level of partnership SAP offers for technology partners. If effectively allows us and SAP’s Digital Supply Chain team to work as if we are part of SAP.

We’re a relatively small Australian company that brings strong value to customers. But nobody’s ever heard of us the first time we’re mentioned. Being endorsed by SAP carries a huge amount of weight.

70-80% of our customers use SAP, so being an Endorsed App partner was a logical decision to allow us better access to critical SAP customers, and to align our data improvement solutions along with key SAP solutions such as Asset Management, Product Lifecycle Management, and SAP Integrated Business Planning.

Over the last 24 months, we have pivoted from 80% of our customers coming from direct outreach to almost 80% of our customers coming via SAP. This allows us to scale and grow our business at a very high velocity, delivering value to our joint customers very effectively.

What’s the future of data governance?

Back in the early 2000s, the problems people experienced with data governance could be automated because they were straightforward. It was the first time tech could do it instead of people.

Then, the solutions started to get more complicated. They could do everything for everybody, but also required a lot of money to implement.

Solutions were big and on premise, taking a lot of time and effort to maintain, and costing millions in data cleanup. That meant they were something only large SAP customers used because they were big, expensive things to make work.

Now, we’re moving away from that. Companies want something they can maintain themselves and self-onboard. They want to be able to change the rules or workflows themselves, not have to go to IT every time they want to change something.

SaaS means the solution isn’t something that requires regular maintenance. IT don’t even need to get involved that often—business users can take ownership instead.

It also means these solutions are cheaper, allowing more businesses to take advantage of them and experience cleaner data.

To find out more about how we could help your business, visit us here or see our solutions on the SAP store.

We’ll be at the International SAP Conference for Utilities on 18-20 April or Sapphire Orlando on May 16-17 if you’re there too and want to chat.