Thursday, December 20, 2007

Data Modeling Strategies to Avoid Data Inaccuracy and Ensure Consistency

Overcome the challenge of re-determining the master data attribute values for a transaction when changes in master data attribute values are back-dated.

Key Concept

InfoSets allow you to maintain pinpoint accuracy even when both transactional and master data can be not only forward- but also back-dated. Temporal joins ensure that the system uses the latest values relevant to the data selected.

Several data degradation problems can occur with true time-dependent master data attributes (i.e., those supplied from the source system as time dependent). The problems result in an apparent mismatch between report data and master data. I’ll explain how to confront this data inconsistency that can occur across all versions of SAP NetWeaver BI with data from any SAP or non-SAP system.

The previous articles in my series covered what to do with time-independent attributes that required historical accuracy. In many respects, handling time-dependent master data attributes is exactly the same as for time-independent master data attributes. Indeed, you can apply most of the same problems and solutions.

However, there is one further issue to consider with true time dependency — that is, the possibility to back-date and forward-date changes to master data. This causes the same problems as the forward-dating of transactional data dates, whereby the master data and the transactional data appear to be inconsistent.

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