UKISUG survey reveals extent of data management issues for SAP users


 Research from the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), the independent not-for-profit organization representing all users of SAP software in the UK and Ireland, has revealed that 61 percent of organizations believe data management challenges have slowed or will slow the automation of their business processes.

The survey of 116 SAP user organizations, published ahead of UKISUG’s Analytics Symposium on April 5 2022, also found that two thirds believe data management is a challenge when moving from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA.

The research reveals that more than three-quarters (76 percent) say their business intelligence and data analytics needs have increased in the last 12 months. When respondents were asked about their most pressing business intelligence needs, data accuracy and consistency (26 percent), dashboard and visualization (23 percent) and data governance (18 percent) were the most commonly cited.

92 percent of the organisations surveyed say they have or plan to have a data strategy, with nearly half (46 percent) saying it is being developed in-house, 42 percent saying it is done with a partner, and 12 percent saying they are developing their data strategy with SAP.

The research also reveals that the majority of organizations have realised additional value from their operational (84 percent) and customer data (68 percent) over the last 12 months. However, the survey does highlight remaining challenges, including gaining business intelligence from data because it is spread across their environment on multiple platforms (69 percent) and difficulties with data accuracy and consistency (64 percent).

Many organizations point to a lack of the necessary skills (41 percent) and technologies (41 percent) preventing them from effectively using of all their data. With data demands continuing to grow, more than half (57 percent) of organizations said they are using or planning to use SAP Analytics Cloud in the future.

Paul Cooper, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said: “Many organizations see moving to SAP S/4HANA or their wider digital transformation as an opportunity to automate more of their business processes. Yet, as our survey shows, data management challenges are slowing progress. When moving to SAP S/4HANA, organizations need to consider whether they need their previous transactional data on the new system. For many, this could lead them to replatforming their current ERP data or using data retention solutions. Data quality is also a very important consideration, as organizations will fail to realise maximum value from implementing SAP S/4HANA, if their existing data hasn’t been cleansed first.”