Creating and Managing Data Hierarchies: Part 1 Manage enterprise charts of accounts for financial reporting or branding structures for consumer goods products or different organizational structures across your organization. You can do this with a readytouse, adaptive framework to help your organization manage hierarchies of all types and complexity. When looking for a solution for hierarchy data management, look for one that offers hierarchy creation wizards, versioning, a configurable business rules engine, workflow approvals, collaboration and security. You also will want a graphical user interface makes it easy to create and manage hierarchies, improving productivity and decision making. This part one of a twopart article gives details on the ideal features for a Master Data Management solution for hierarchy management. Businessuser Interface—You’ll want to be able to create and maintain hierarchies, and manage all associated MDM information, as well as view and manage different associations of a node without having to switch to different views with a “view” axis. Be sure you can view the same information in multiple ways. Additionally, look for a solution that offers: • • • • • • •
Graphical visualizations Extensive filtering options to shortlist and navigate to a subset of nodes on the hierarchy tree Personalization options to configure views Snapshot versions or “point in time” versions compared Color/icon palettes based on type of node Draganddrop for relationship realignment Menu utilities if nodes not visible for dragdrop on ragged structures
Data Model—Be sure you can incorporate your metadata model into the Master Data Management solution, and extend or modify the model at any time. The user interface should adapt accordingly without any programming changes required. Import Wizard and Scheduler—Hierarchies should be created and data loaded from other applications or import files. All dependencies should be able to be resolved and maintained during the import process. Imports may be scheduled to run at predefined times.
Incremental data change detection and load should be part of the core import process. Versioning—Make sure your MDM solution provides multiple options for versioning and rules associated with hierarchies. You choose the appropriate option for each hierarchy/subject area: •
Persistent Version: A snapshot of an approved version is created as the working version. All changes are made to the working version, and the changes migrate through the workflow approval pipeline as a single version. On final approval, changes are posted to deploy and reportonly users. Temporal Nodes: Query hierarchies at a “point in time” with effective dates and expiration dates on individual active nodes and relationships, rather than maintaining a snapshot. Inplace snapshot: Provides the same capability as Temporal Nodes and includes the option to show the user a node’s associated attributes at any point in time.
With the Persistent Version option, authorized users should be able to create and delete scratchpad versions to simulate whatif scenarios, if needed. These versions are never published but can be deployed to test environments for what if reporting. About the Author Software AG (http://www.softwareag.com/) is a world leader in enterprise management software. Our Business Process Excellence tools can optimize and improve your business processes and transform your business. Software AG focuses on complete business process integration to deliver enterprise business process excellence from end to end.