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The New Data Quality Imperative — Is Your HCM Data Ready for the Cloud?

by AJ Whalen, Senior Research Analyst, SAPinsider | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 3

July 1, 2014

Hybrid landscapes in the human capital management (HCM) space make it more important than ever to monitor and manage data quality, which now impacts numerous systems and mission-critical integration points. This article explores this dynamic for organizations that have added cloud solutions to a single system of record, such as SAP ERP HCM. Without a quality data initiative in a hybrid landscape, organizations can find themselves with bad data that leaves the source system and generates significant costs as it reaches other systems.


As the adoption of cloud-based solutions increases, the human capital management (HCM) software market is undergoing a seismic shift in the strategy, execution, and delivery of its applications. The current change from a “best-of-suite” approach to a “best-of-breed” strategy that requires meticulous integration between systems means that companies are facing a software landscape with more specialized, sometimes disparate, solutions to manage HCM, payroll, and talent management data and processes.

Companies running SAP ERP HCM have long understood the significance of data quality and the risks associated with poor data. Today’s hybrid landscapes integrate a single system of record, such as SAP ERP HCM, with cloud-based talent solutions. Failure to monitor and manage data quality now impacts numerous systems and mission-critical integration points in a hybrid landscape.

Managing Data Quality at the Source

Integrating data between on-premise and cloud solutions involves more than just diligence. It requires the systematic, proactive monitoring of data quality, compliance, and completeness in the system of record. There are many common data entry errors that can complicate payroll runs, benefits eligibility, organizational management structures, and many other HR and payroll processes. Reports must be used to monitor and identify data abnormalities, such as duplicate data values, incompatible or mismatched field values, configuration errors, and even null data values that would be disruptive if passed to external systems.

Successful organizations understand that one data error may not only affect a payroll process, but also undermine the effectiveness of benefits, compensation, and talent management processes, reports, interfaces, and analytics. The cost of bad data to an organization grows significantly once the data leaves the source system.

The cost of bad data to an organization grows significantly once the data leaves the source system.

Automated, Real-Time Data Reporting

It is critical to involve all aspects of the organization in the design and execution of data quality initiatives. Data requirements and thresholds may vary among payroll, HR, audit, and IT.

Data reporting must be run in real time and the system must monitor compliance with agreed-upon business rules, audit procedures, compliance checks, and system configurations. Using staged or warehoused data to monitor data quality is not an option.

For example, reports may be set up to identify payroll data issues such as duplicate bank records, or to identify missing field values that can impact payroll results or slow payroll processing. Mismatch reports can help locate records with invalid combinations of employment status or enterprise structure values, and can help identify potential configuration errors and loopholes that need to be addressed. Using a real-time reporting solution to create these reports and automate distribution of exception reports not only reduces effort, but also lowers the risk of downstream processing errors.

Learn More

SpinifexIT’s Easy Reporter has SAP-certified integration and provides robust reporting capabilities that are essential to a best-practice HR data governance strategy. Easy Reporter fully supports data governance practices by delivering integrated, real-time reporting access to SAP ERP HCM data and complete payroll, time, and tax results in a single solution. The solution can also simplify data quality monitoring by enabling the scheduling and automated distribution of reports.

To learn more about how Easy Reporter can strengthen your HR data governance strategy, visit SpinifexIT at

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AJ Whalen
AJ Whalen

AJ Whalen is a Senior Research Analyst at SAPinsider.

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