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Data Quality Problems Slowing You Down? Audit Your Data

by Mick Collins | insiderPROFILES

July 1, 2012

When companies implement new software solutions, they often find that the most difficult task centers on data. What data should be migrated from the legacy system to the new solution? What data should be retired? What data needs to be maintained to fulfill legal requirements? To help companies in this daunting endeavor, BackOffice Associates offers its Data Audit solution.

Often, when implementing a new software solution, the most daunting task centers around handling the data. Companies must decide what data to migrate from the legacy system to the new solution and what data to retire. And, of course, there are data governance issues to consider as well. Not only must a company think about what data needs to be maintained to fulfill any legal requirements, but also whether the quality of that data is sufficient. 

Gain Immediate Understanding and Mitigate Risk

To help companies gain a better understanding of their data’s quality, scope, and complexity, BackOffice Associates offers its Data Audit solution. This solution mitigates business risk and data-related project delays by providing fact-based and measurable results quickly.

The BackOffice Associates Data Audit is a five-day engagement that helps companies better understand the quality of their data so they can build a business case that supports data as a critical success factor for the business initiative. A Data Audit involves analysis of a company’s data to quickly assess the data’s relevancy, business readiness, and target readiness. This repeatable audit model — driven by agile tools, a proven methodology, and experienced BackOffice Associates consultants — gives companies insight into the state and readiness of their data; providing them with the data’s true scope and complexity. 

Real-Time Analysis Without Disruption

Our BackOffice Associates consultants work together with the client’s project team to analyze both the legacy source systems and all the data that they contain. The Data Audit findings are delivered in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with embedded reports in familiar Microsoft Excel spreadsheets so they can be easily read, analyzed, and passed to relevant stakeholders (see Figure 1).

Sample findings of a Data Audit

Figure 1 Sample findings of a Data Audit — users can drill down further into the results by exploring the referenced Microsoft Excel document

The findings of this analysis highlight data “hot spots” and complexities that need to be addressed for specific project implementations, and provide recommendations for data mapping, cleansing, and configurations. The Data Audit engagement provides these fact-based, measurable results regardless of the source system (see Figure 2).

The BackOffice Data Audit analyzes data from any legacy source system, providing fact-based, actionable reports

Figure 2 The BackOffice Data Audit analyzes data from any legacy source system, providing fact-based, actionable reports

A Look at the Data Audit Engagement

BackOffice Associates Data Audit reports identify:

  • Data quantity and complexity, which is critical for project scoping
  • The active data that should be in scope for the project
  • The inactive data that needs to be properly flagged or deleted in the source system
  • Source data issues and problems that can cause ERP load errors
  • Missing, incorrect, or unusual data values
  • Duplicate records within a source or across sources
  • Distribution frequencies of common configurations (for example, payment terms, account groups, and material types)
  • Any conflicts and gaps in the data

Learn More

BackOffice Associates has 16 years of experience dealing with data migration and information governance solutions with a particular focus on enhancing data quality. Its products and services are designed to help companies address the needs of both business and IT users seeking to unlock the value of their data assets. Whether a client is looking to monitor ongoing information quality or execute the most complex migration and governance initiatives, BackOffice Associates has services and solutions to help.

To fully explore how BackOffice Associates, LLC can help manage data in your implementation project, visit: or email

Mick Collins
      Mick Collins is Vice President of Global Pre-Sales at BackOffice Associates, LLC. Mick joined BackOffice in 2006; his responsibilities there include ownership of the Data Audit solution. Mick has more than 22 years of information technology experience, including significant experience in data management, system programming, and configuration and customization with SAP and Oracle. Prior to joining BackOffice Associates, Mick held leadership positions with Oracle, IBM, and Dell. He holds a degree in computer science from the University of Maryland.

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