29 March 2017

Giving Control to Data Owners

As companies grow, lines between data consumer and data owner may become blurred for any user, department or system that requires and shares information. Questions arise – who is responsible for this data and who must provide it at the right time – in order to stop data redundancy, maintain its integrity, avoid process delays and reduce work overlapping.

Master Data Services can help empowering data owners by giving specific users (or groups of users) the ability – as well the onus – to provide and validate precise data through either an out of the box user friendly interface or Microsoft Excel. I will detail one context to illustrate how this can be achieved.

A Marketing team, responsible for the naming of commercial descriptions for each product displayed on the company’s online store, is reliant on the availability and cooperation of the IT team to update and manage data that they own.

I am going to describe next how to use Master Data Services to mediate this situation, mostly removing the IT team from this ongoing data maintenance.

User and Groups

First, users must be configured and mapped to their rightful groups.

1. Enter User and Group Permissions tab:

2. In Manage Users tab, create the needed users and include their e-mail;

3. In Manage Groups tab, create the needed groups and map each user to the groups they belong

Notifications

We want the Marketing team to be warned when their data is in need of input our validation. With that in mind, we must configure a database mail account to send these e-mails.

1. Open Master Data Services Configuration Manager and select Database Configuration

2. Select your MDS database and use the create profile function;

3. Fill the requested fields to set up the account you wish MDS to use to send out the notifications to users and groups

Permissions

Each user or group can be granted read, update or deny permission (the last one effectively blocking and hiding the referenced object) to a model, entity, leaf or hierarchy. We aim to give the marketing team update permission for a specific field named CommercialName, which holds the string to be shown in the online sales store for each product.

1. Enter User and Group Permissions tab;

2. In Manage Groups tab, select the intended group (Marketing) and click on the edit button (pen):

3. Select the Models tab and give read permission the model (if you wish to grant the group full read access to the model and its entities) and update permission to the field CommercialName. If you succeeded, the summary in the right should present the following information:

Business Rules

In this step we need to create a business rule that will inform the marketing team if CommercialName is empty and the VisibleOnline flag is active, therein flagging a specific product as visible to the final clients in their online store, hence needing their attention.

1. Go to System Administration and then manage > business rules;

2. Select the respective model and entity;

3. Create a business rule as follows:

4. Save the business rule and assign the group marketing to receive an e-mail when this rule results in a validation failed:

 

Validation

Now every time the products entity is validated by the apply rules function, the marketing team will receive an e-mail with the products that require their attention:

The team must now update these descriptions, to make these products viable, as per company rules, to be sold in their online store.

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       Hugo Lopes
        Consultant
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