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Understanding Business Data Types for Reporting 

Deciphering Types of Data as they Pertain to Enterprise Systems

Enterprise Systems are programs that are used by all sizes of companies to aid in the business processes of the company on a daily basis. They are used for intercompany processes and intracompany processes (processes taking place both between companies and within a specific company). Several types of Enterprise Systems include the Enterprise Resource Planning Systems that coordinate and plan intracompany processes which coordinate and integrate cross-functional and functional business processes. 

It also includes Supply Chain Management which connects the company with its suppliers and coordinates logistics for the orders, and Supplier Relationship Management which manages the contracts and quotations between the company and its suppliers. Additionally, there is Customer Relationship Management that facilitates and nurtures the relationships with the consumers (through sales, customer service, and marketing), and Product Life Cycle Management that determines and forecasts the life cycles of given products thereby letting the company know how to manage the design, research and costs of a given product. These Enterprise Systems are often collected into bundles called Application Suites.

Within these Enterprise Systems there are three kinds of data. There is Organizational Data, Master Data, and, of course, Transactional Data. 

The Transaction Data is the most fluid and is constantly changing. This data is the details of every transaction made by or within a company. These are the daily activities of the company and therefore are the bulk of the data. 

The Master Data are the information that defines the key players that interact with the company. For example, it would be the information regarding the customers (contact info), suppliers and products. 

Finally, there is the Organizational Data which relates to the actual structure of the business. For example, this would be that there are three manufacturing plants located in Boise, Richland and Albuquerque. This type of data has more to do with the physical construct of the organization.

The following is additional information to aid in differentiating between the data types and their uses:

1. Organizational Data

Rarely changes

Changes occur seldom and only with intensive planning (e.g. addition of a warehouse in Houston)

Is part of the configuration process, or the setting up of the Enterprise System

Related to structural makeup of the company: storage areas, shipping points and receiving points

2. Master Data

Identifies key players that interact with the company: customers, vendors, products and employees

Customer Example: name, address, contact person, negotiated terms (billing and payment methods

Product Example: product number, description, physical characteristics, handling requirements, storage location

Employee Example: name, address, position in company, payroll, tax-related data, benefits

Not related to specific process or step but is required to complete processes

Changes are made in master data occasionally: with every new hire, customer or product line

Is required in almost every step of the processes

3. Transactional Data

Changes on a daily basis due to the constant activity of the company

Occurs whenever a specific task or process activity is completed

Includes who did what action when and where

Example: a specific purchase order creates the following transactional data: dates, quantities, person's name requesting material, prices, delivery locations, and shipment method.

Being able to discern between the types of data will provide clarity when breaking down a corporation and its many parts. It will help to be able to distinguish between the day-to-day activities, the long term planning and the basic components of the company. Knowing this will aid decision making and planning and forecasting for the future. 

By: Caitlin Richardson 

TEKOA ERP Software 

Web Portal Software

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