The GlobalSource IT SAP S/4HANA Implementation Best Practices Guide
Clean first, implement later.

Cleaning Your Data for a Smooth Implementation

A common theme across the responses in the survey was that quality and cleanliness of the data is of critical importance.

It’s no secret that data is the lifeblood of a company. It helps organizations forecast future revenue, look back via performance metrics, and develop strategies to evolve with its customers.But data can also pose dangers — it can be misinterpreted, leading a company down the wrong path, or entered incorrectly providing false conclusions. And if current trends hold true, there’s a 54% chance you will fail to meet your go-live date because you didn’t spend enough time thinking about and analyzing your data.

This is why data cleansing is so critical. When a company undertakes a large data initiative it's an opportunity to streamline processes.

As one consultant said;

"Do not ignore data cleansing and migration. Remember 'garbage in, garbage out.' You could implement a flawless system but if you do not focus on data, you will see zero ROI."
-Chaitanya K.
How many months do you think consultants recommend you should spend cleansing data prior to the implementation?
1 - 2 Months
3 - 5 Months
6 - 12 Months
1 - 2 Years
2+ Years
"Why have delayed projects had their original go-live date pushed out?"

Four of five consultants (79%) we surveyed said they worked on a project that pushed out its go-live date beyond the planned timeline. Of these, 68% said improperly cleaned data was a significant reason why the go-live was delayed, ranking it only behind change in scope as the biggest reasons why projects are unable to run on schedule.

This speaks to the importance of, and lack of attention given to data cleansing prior to S/4HANA projects.

"How accurately do you think customers assess and understand the governance or compliance issues they may face as part of an S/4HANA transition?"

Additionally, your data governance model will impact how much data should be cleaned. 72% of consultants say that you aren't spending enough time on data governance. Once the project starts, if more time is needed to ensure the data is clean, less time will be available to test the data. All of this suggests that starting your data cleansing early and giving it the appropriate amount of time is a basic best practice.