Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Tech Tip: Determining Which Dimensions to Manage in EDM

Published February 4 2021
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Introduction

Welcome to the first official Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Tech Tip! These will be brief and concise blogs that communicate a valuable technical tip we at Alithya share with our clients and now want to share with all of you to maximize your return on investment in Oracle EPM Cloud.

For this initial post, I wanted to focus on a simple yet very important question:

How Do I Decide Which Dimensions to Manage in EDM?

Why is this important? Here are a few broad reasons:

  • Licensing

This is an important factor to keep in mind when going through design phases and identifying which dimensions should be “in” or “out” of EDM. As you likely know, EDM is licensed based on total unique record count (although an Employee metric option is available for organizations with high record requirements).

What is a record? It is essentially a member or element in a hierarchy or list. Account “1110 – Cash” is a record. So is a legal entity “1000 - Corporate” or parent rollup “North America”. A record may be a base level member or a summary (parent) level member, and duplicate or shared members do not count extra towards your record count.

  • Business Value

You want to master dimensions in EDM that give you the most “bang for the buck” by adding value to managing, aligning, and enriching your enterprise data assets across the organizations.

  • Organizational Considerations

That there may be other factors to consider depending on the situation, including change management and resistance to “something new”, organizational experience with using a master data tool, ownership of enterprise data and related organizational dynamics, and budget/timeline pressures from competing enterprise initiatives. 

Key Considerations

So, what are some key considerations to keep in mind given the above constraints?

  • How volatile or static is the dimension?
    • What is the frequency of change, and how many people are involved in requesting, reviewing, approving, and/or applying the change? A dimension that is regularly updated or that is mission-critical should be prioritized higher than a dimension that is low-risk and rarely, if ever, changes.
  • How many target systems use the dimension?
    • While managing a dimension in EDM for a single target system makes sense in many circumstances, the value-add provided by EDM will be exponentially greater for dimensions used across multiple applications in the ERP and/or EPM eco-systems.
  • How large is the dimension?
    • In other words, how many unique members are in the dimension? This is pretty obvious but incredibly important based on the licensing constraint mentioned above.
  • What value will EDM provide to the dimension?
    • Will EDM enrich the dimension or simply act as a “pass-through”? The EDM ROI is maximized when EDM enriches dimensions with additional attributes, alternate hierarchies, approval workflows, alignment across applications, and overall data governance insight and control. If EDM is simply exporting the same master data content it was provided, especially if the dimension is large or used by a single target, it may not be the best candidate for EDM.

Summary

That’s it for this EDM Tech Tip. While each situation is different, hopefully, this gives you some food for thought on how to decide which dimensions to manage in EDM. Until next time!

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at infosolutions@alithya.com.  Visit our blog regularly for new posts about Cloud updates and other Oracle Cloud Services such as Planning and Budgeting, Financial Consolidation, Account Reconciliation, and Enterprise Data Management.  Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.